Can Better Sleep Keep You Flu-Free?
Health Hacks Did you know you can help protect yourself from catching the flu by getting the proper amount of nightly sleep?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 1 in 5 Americans will catch the flu this year and as many as 200,000 people will be hospitalized for flu-related complications.
The scientific evidence is clear: Sleep is essential for optimal health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis, and children and teens need even more sleep.
Research has demonstrated that sleep loss is connected to higher rates of illness. A lack of sleep can impair your immune system and make you more susceptible to the flu or a cold. Sleep loss also can delay your recovery if you do get sick.
Practicing healthy sleep habits can help keep your immune system strong and prevent you from coming down with a cold or the flu.
Go to bed early enough to allow yourself to sleep at least seven hours each night.
Keep a consistent sleep schedule by waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine and make your bedroom dark and quiet.
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
Limit exposure to bright phone, tablet and computer screens at night.
Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime.
Keep in mind that healthy sleep also requires good quality. Millions of people have a chronic sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, which can disrupt the quality of your sleep. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your sleep. For an ongoing sleep problem you can get help from a board-certified sleep medicine physician at an accredited sleep center.