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How To Gear Up Your Immunity Naturally- Part 1 of 3 Sleep & Stress

November 22, 2016

 

Hello everyone! As the busiest time of the year fast approaching, we have more and more demands on our schedules.

 

Don’t want to get sick and miss out? This blog post is the first of my immunity boosting series that is designed to help you gear up your immunity naturally so you can stay healthy and productive this winter.

 

We will touch on the 3 areas in the next 3 weeks.

 

Immune Offender #1 Poor Sleep

 

Can’t sleep through the night? Or having trouble falling asleep? Sometimes a combination of both? Either way, this makes staying alert and productive the next day very difficult. Clients often complain feeling exhausted in the early afternoons but the vicious cycle continues trouble falling asleep again when bedtime comes.

 

The culprit here is stress. How can you tell stress is impacting your sleep?

 

We measure stress through a small sample of your saliva. Cortisol is what I call the ‘stress hormone’ and it naturally peaks in the morning to help us check things off your to-do list and tapers off in the evening to allow our body and immune system to repair and rest. Chronic stress makes cortisol stays high so the body can’t rest. In this case, one might have trouble falling asleep or sleep very light and wakes up in the middle of the night.

 

Caption: insomnia comes in all shapes and forms. In any case, they all feel horrible!]

 

Even a small amount of sleep loss can impact your immune system big time. A group of UCLA researchers found forcing the body staying awake for 29 hour decrease the immune cells’ ability to fight colds and flus in normally healthy, well-rested adults.

 

The researchers also found sleep deprivation fuels inflammation in the body, making your body vulnerable to infections. What’s worse, inflammation also weakens your gut immunity (the largest component of your immune system), which I will be sharing in details in the next post.

 

Chronic stress can suppress your immune system.

 

Our body reacts immediate to sleep deprivation and with the stress you experience on a daily basis, this damaging effect can compound over-time: to a point that it might not be able to fight back when you are infected with pathogens. You probably know someone who gets sick often or claim that they never get sick but when they do, it hit them extra hard.

 

Adaptogens are herbs that I often use for my clients to help them modulate their stress and energy level throughout the day. Using a combination of some of these herbs, nutrients and foods depending what your body needs at different times of the day. Some of my favourite brain-boosters are:

 

 

Ashwaganda

 

This herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to take down anxiety a notch and regulate cortisol level during the day.

 

Rhodiola

 

This mildly stimulating herb helps to protect your brain power from taking a dip in the afternoons.

 

Holy Basil

 

This concentration booster is great for boosting mental clarity for exhausted brains.

 

L-theanine

 

This is not an adaptogen but it’s a very effective stress reliever- this is the compound naturally found in green tea, which creates calming brain waves that makes you feel ‘zen’.

 

Magnesium

 

This mineral is mother nature’s relaxant-we need it for a good night’s sleep, and dilating blood vessels and muscles. We don’t get enough in foods and some lifestyle factors can make us lose magnesium more quickly, such as chronic stress, high-sugar diet and caffeine/alcohol use.

 

 

We can only enjoy giving and sharing when we are healthy. With our hectic schedules, it’s easy to ignore your well-being.

 

It’s time to make sure you have the support and strategies in place to make sure you feel replenished and energized to give and thrive. I promise it’s easier than you think. A big part is having the support you need and willing to take the first step to take care of yourself.

 

What’s your biggest wellness struggle during the busiest time of the year? Tell me here as I’d love to know: tahlia@sweetandsavouryhealth.com

 

Get yourself a free copy of my natural immune-boosting care package from under resources, including natural remedies, recipes and tips!

 

 

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