Good sleep is very important for flu and cold prevention and treatment. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can affect your immune system and growth hormones, making you more susceptible to infections. Increase your immunity by giving the quality of sleep, and take advantage of infection prevention and disease recovery.
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“Nutrition and rest” are important to prevent influenza and colds
Influenza enters the epidemic season every year when it gets cold. The pillars of home treatment for influenza recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare are sufficient nutrition and rest . This time, we will introduce the importance of sleep in the prevention and treatment of colds and flu.
Lack of sleep weakens your immune system… Why sleep is important to prevent colds and flu
If you don’t let the animals sleep at all for several weeks, they all inevitably die. When these animals were dissected and examined, it was found that bacteria had increased in their bodies, and the cause of death was sepsis .
This is because the inability to sleep impedes the function of the immune system that protects the body from bacteria and viruses , making it impossible to prevent the invasion of bacteria from the intestine.
Of course, such an experiment cannot be done on humans, but it is known that people who are sleep deprived for a long period of time due to military training are more likely to catch a cold. We can feel this too.
The resistance to bacteria and viruses is maintained and strengthened during sleep . Therefore, if you sleep less or sleep only in small pieces for a long period of time, your body’s resistance will drop, making it easier to catch colds and flu, and it will be difficult to heal.
Getting sleepy when you have a cold or the flu is also related to the work of your immune system. Substances called cytokines are released from virus-infected cells and cells that try to exterminate viruses . Cytokines raise body temperature to kill heat-sensitive viruses. On the other hand, we are sleepy trying to give our body a rest to stop other activities and concentrate on fighting the virus.
Lack of sleep also affects the secretion of “growth hormone”, which is important for cell repair and recovery from fatigue
During deep sleep, growth hormone maintains damaged cells.In addition, it has long been said that “a child who sleeps grows up”. This is scientifically true. Growth hormone , which is important for the growth of the body, is secreted in large amounts during the first deep sleep after falling asleep .
A child grows big by taking a shower of this growth hormone. After puberty, the amount of growth hormone decreases, but even in adults, it plays an important role in repairing cells and recovering from fatigue .
Growth hormone is a hormone closely related to the rhythm of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, the peak blood concentration seen in the first half of your night’s sleep will be less. When this happens, it interferes with the maintenance of cells damaged by daytime activities, making it easier for viruses to enter the body and making colds and flu difficult to heal.
Sleep is very important in order to secrete a sufficient amount of growth hormone .
The flu virus likes cold, dry seasons. It is believed that this is the reason why influenza epidemics occur every winter.
And the dry season is not only easier for viruses to survive, but it’s also a time when our bodies are more vulnerable to viruses.
The influenza virus enters the body through the mucous membrane of the throat and multiplies. When the mucous membrane of the throat is moist, it exhibits sufficient resistance , but when it dries, the surface cells die and peel off, allowing the virus to easily enter.
Therefore, the environment of the bedroom where you spend one-third of the day is also important for the prevention of influenza. Even in autumn and winter when the temperature drops and dries , keep the room temperature between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius and the humidity between 50 and 60% to protect the mucous membrane of the throat .
The way you breathe during sleep is also important to prevent dryness. Mouth breathing with your mouth open can dry out your throat and mouth. If you have a stuffy nose due to allergic rhinitis, etc., you can prevent mouth breathing if you properly treat it and improve your nasal passages.
Also, when you drink alcohol, the mucous membranes of your throat and nose become swollen, making it easier to breathe through your mouth, so it seems better to drink alcohol in moderation . If you snore on a regular basis , try sleeping on your side or on your stomach to prevent your tongue from sinking into your throat. Protect yourself and your family from colds and flu by getting enough quality sleep
, not just wearing a mask and washing your hands .