You’re at work and some one at the desk next to you is sneezing and coughing up a storm. You haven’t seen your best friend all weekend because she’s feeling under the weather and hibernating in her bed.
Is that a sniffle coming on?
Are you feeling exhausted for no apparent reason.
Should you be taking vitamin C?
Lastly, Sleep is also a huge immuno-modulator.
A recent 2012 Review (Besedovsky et al) concluded:
“Prolonged sleep curtailment and the accompanying stress response invoke a persistent unspecific production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, best described as chronic low-grade inflammation, and also produce immunodeficiency, which both have detrimental effects on health.”
There you go everyone, your dietitian is giving you an excuse to sleep! 7-9 hours is recommended – do your best to get into a healthy regular routine, which involves no stimulants 4 hours before bed (e.g. caffeine). Short naps can be ok too. Research has found that about 20 minutes (the sneaky Spanish siesta) can be beneficial to boost alertness and immunity :)
Stay happy and healthy this coming winter.