Surviving Covid-19: Sleep your best ally !
Did you sleep well, like a baby, at least on 'International Sleep day- the 13th of March'?
Well, if you really did, then you have to repeat the 13th of March over and over and over again.. preferably for life ( Or at least till we are safely out of this pandemic)
If you are losing sleep over the Covid-19 scare, think again. Sleep in fact is one of the best defence you have against the virus.
Because, sleep helps tune up your immune system and a well tuned immune system is a key to helping fight any infection. If you don't get enough sleep, you could be more vulnerable to infections. With Covid-19 doing the rounds, you better invest in your immune system. Relax and build your defences.
Here are a few facts as to why sleeping well, might be the best thing you could do to improve your chances of successfully preventing as well as fighting Covid-19 infection.
1. Sleep affects various immunity related parameters. While you sleep, you body releases certain protective proteins called as cytokines and infection fighting antibodies. Thus healthy sleeping habits are associated with reduced infection risks and better outcomes if at all one is infected.
2. Long term lack of sleep would not only impact your immune system, but would also end up impacting your metabolism negatively, resulting in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues etc. As you are aware, patients with such diseases are more vulnerable to Covid-19. Hence the best way to start preparing yourself is to get enough sleep.
3. Due to our current lifestyle approximately 35% of the adults do not get enough sleep and up to 50% or more might not be getting optimal benefits from sleep due to the current lifestyle and environmental issues. This could make a large chunk of our population vulnerable to infections because of an immune system that is not functioning optimally.
What can you do?
a. Maintaining a good sleep hygiene is the first step you can take to ensure that you get quality sleep and are able to keep your immune system healthy especially now-in times of crisis. This would involve reducing your exposure to white light at night, eating a light dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime, reducing the usage of mobile phones, television, tablets before bedtime and ensuring that the bedroom is sufficiently dark ( Or for the elderly : It could be lit with very dim lights in a manner that the light does not fall on the eyes and affect the quality of sleep )
b. Not resorting to sleeping pills since they are addictive and do not really help. Instead resort to eating a healthy diet, stress relieving techniques like meditations and consider using herbs & supplements as an alternative to toxic sleeping pills
c. There are many herbs that could help improve the quality of your sleep. Some herbs that could help you sleep better
1. Sarpagandha tablets. Scientific name: Rauwolfia serpentina ( It is safe to take, yet would recommend that it is taken under the supervision of your doctor )
2. Ashwagandha extract : A Powerful adaptogen ( Scientific name: Withnia somnifera)
3. Brahmi: A Nervine tonic ( Scientific name: Bacopa monniera )
4. Tagara Choorna (Scientific name: Valeriana wallichii)
5. Jatamansi Choorna (Scientific name: Nardostachys jatamansi)
d. Supplements that will help you sleep better
1. Magnesium supplements such as Magnesium glycinate, Magnesium Taurate, Magnesium citrate, Magnesium orotate.
2. Melatonin 1mg to 3 mg ( To be taken just before bedtime )
3. Amino acids such as Glycine ( Glycine is a sweet amino acid and can be added to your lemon or citrus juice that can be taken just before sleeping)
4. Other Amino acids that you can use preferably after following up with your health practitioner include L-Theanine, GABA and L-Tryptophan
Disclaimer: If you want to use any of the herbs or supplements mentioned on these blogs, please do so under the guidance of a doctor or a holistic practitioner. Feel free to write to us at email@example.com for usage information specific to your issue.