Our immune systems rely on sleep to help us fight off and colds. According to research conducted in the University Klinikum in Germany, the response memory of your immune system is stronger when you enter deep sleep and hence is better equipped to fight off bacteria and viruses when they attack. Studies suggest that people who sleep 6 hours or less each night are 4.2 times more likely to catch a cold than people who slept 7 hours or more.
So if you are loading up on vitamin C and zinc to counteract the sniffles, stiffness, aches and pains and headaches, you might just try snuggling up under the blankets and let a good night’s sleep take care of things!
As the winter weather creeps in, here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:
Stick to a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and yes, this includes weekends!
Diet & Nutrition
Make sure that your diet includes adequate amounts of foods which contain tryptophan such as bananas or walnuts, which is necessary to create the sleep hormone melatonin. Calcium also helps to regulate your sleep cycles so try to drink warm milk at night if you’re struggling to sleep.
Try not to eat at least two hours before going to bed to aid digestion and avoid trips to the bathroom, however, is you are really hungry you could have a light snack because our bodies produce the hormone Ghrelin when we are hungry and research shows can disrupt your sleep. Just remember to keep your snacks light!
Limit your daily intake of caffeine to the recommended 200mg to 300mg and keep nicotine to a minimum, especially in the evenings as sleep can be disrupted when your caffeine or nicotine levels are high.
Keep your bedroom clear from clutter and anything that reminds you of work or chores to create a more sleep-friendly environment.
Take sufficient time to wind down and power off all smart devices which are a concentrated form of daylight and suppress the production of melatonin.
Regular exercise helps keeps us active, healthy and fit, but also makes us naturally tired and is known to be a contributing factor to getting a better night’s sleep.