Protect Your Immune System
Do you get sick easily and more frequently than others? It turns out that lack of quality sleep has a profound effect on our immune system. Poor sleep doesn’t just make you groggy or fatigued the next day, it can actually make you sick.
How does poor sleep increase your chances of catching a cold? Lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea lowers your T-cell count. T-cells produce cytokine, which increases when your body is working to fight off an infection, inflammation or stress. Without proper sleep, your body can not create the amount of cytokine needed to protect you from sickness.
For adults, seven to eight hours of quality sleep are needed to fend off colds. Teenagers require nine to 10 hours while younger children need 10 or more hours of sleep each night. If you are living with sleep apnea, besides getting your symptoms under control with sleep apnea treatment, here are some others ways that you can boost your immune system:
- Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables. While no one food is attributed to helping avoid sickness, a variety of foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits and bell peppers, and antioxidants, like broccoli and berries, are a great source of immune boosting nutrients.
- Regular exercise can increase blood circulation and also has an anti-inflammatory effect which can help your immune system stay strong. At least 30 minutes of daily exercise such as walking, running or biking will go a long way in keeping you healthy.
- Avoid smoking as it compromises your immune system by inhibiting T-cell function.
- Wash your hands throughout the day to avoid getting or transmitting infections.
If you have questions about the effects of sleep apnea on your health, please contact our office in Poulsbo, WA and we will be happy to answer your questions.
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