As we head into another cold & flu season and our second winter with the Coronavirus hanging over our heads, Generations Family Practice Wellness Center wants to make sure all our patients know the importance of sleep in a healthy functioning immune system. Getting a solid night’s rest consistently is one of the best things you can do to prevent serious complications from any illnesses you may contract this season.
Our immune system is a complex network throughout the body that helps ward off infections, heal wounds and protect us from chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Sleep provides essential support to the immune system, promoting strong innate and adaptive immunity, efficient response to vaccines and less severe allergic reactions.
Serious sleep problems, like insomnia, snoring and sleep apnea can have a detrimental effect on one’s immune system leading to a variety of short-term illness and chronic diseases.
In an effort to help our patients fight off the many illnesses that infect so many during this winter season, GFP Wellness Center offers some tips to promote your best sleep and as a result, a stronger immune system.
Get plenty of sunshine. Getting plenty of sleep helps regulate hormonal and melatonin levels. A good dose of daily sunshine helps produce optimal levels of melatonin. Sunshine during the day and a cool, dark room at night help balance our natural circadian rhythms to promote the best possible sleep.
Get plenty of exercise. Even a brisk walk can help boost the effect of melatonin. Morning workouts that expose you to bright sunlight are the most efficient at helping natural sleep rhythms. Avoid exercising at least three hours before bed.
Avoid electronics such as televisions, cell phones, tablets and computers as the light disturbs natural sleep rhythms. Instead, read a book, take a warm bath or listen to soothing music. If stress or to-do lists keep you awake, try to write out your thoughts in a journal.
Avoid eating large meals, alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine can stay in your blood for 6-8 hours so stick with decaf if you crave a cup in the afternoon.
Try to keep a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends or vacation. Keeping a regular sleep pattern can keep your circadian rhythm functioning at an optimal level.
If you struggle to sleep at night due to issues such as snoring or sleep apnea, your doctor at Generations Family Practice may be able to help. Some patients use a CPAP machine to help open restricted airways in order to get a better night sleep. Generations offers sleep apnea tests conveniently in our office. As an alternative treatment for snoring and sleep apnea we also offer an in office, non-invasive laser treatment called NightLase.
Nightlase is a painless treatment that can help open restricted airways that cause snoring and sleep apnea. Using laser energy, NightLase gently heats the tissues of the airway causing a tightening effect which helps keep the airway open. This procedure requires no downtime, no anesthesia and is quick and comfortable.
Generations Family Practice Wellness Center offers free consultations for NightLase and can work in partnership with your primary care doctor at Generations Family Practice. If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, GFP Wellness Center may be able to help. For more information visit our website at generationsfamilypracticewellnesscenter.com or give us a call at 984-228-1521.