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Whether you get 6 hours of sleep or standard 8, sleep is a very important mechanism that your body needs. During sleep your body repairs and resets various functions in your body that can assist the immune system. More specifically, sleep allows the T-Cells (they are the immune system cells that help fight pathogens and viruses that make a person ill) perform better.1, 3

 The Why

Not only does the immune system benefit from sleeping right, seniors will feel more alert, have better memory, better heart function, less stressed, and more engaged. During a good night’s sleep, a senior, or anyone of any age, the body will cycle through deep sleep and dreaming stages. Why is this important? It is because during sleep, the body releases proteins called cytokines which fight inflammations and infections. If a senior does not get enough sleep, their body goes into a flight or fight mode, increasing adrenaline levels, thus inhibiting the T-Cells to stick and work. In others words, it means that over a long time, it can have both short term and long term consequences. If you or a senior under your care has trouble sleeping, please garner the assistance of a Medical Professional to properly diagnose and provide treatment. 1, 2

The How

Though there are numerous studies on the negative impacts of poor sleep, seniors and anyone of any age matter of fact don’t prioritize good sleep. Here are a few simple and effective ways a senior can improve their sleep, thus boosting their immune system.1, 23

Staying active during the day –  Physical activity through a senior appropriate program or whilst enjoying social activities. Physical activity increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, and can strengthen antibodies. Work out with friends or go on city walks because being outside optimises melatonin levels by getting adequate sunlight. Sunlight also helps the body make Vitamin D, they help activate T-Cells.1, 23

Comfortable sleeping area – appropriately quiet, preferred lighting level, and even items that give you comfort, sans electronic devices such as phones, tablets and computers in bed. Stick to a regular schedule like a concrete sleep and wake up. With a regular sleeping pattern of at least 7.5 hours to 9 hours, your body will go through different stages of mental cycles, repairs, and it goes the same for your body.1, 23

Don’t forget to have a good diet – If a senior has a well balanced diet and nutrition throughout the day, they are less likely to wake up at night your body does not have to work overdrive. Seniors who do not have enough fiber, but consume more saturated fat and sugar have less restorative sleep. And in vis versa, if a senior does not get an appropriate amount of sleep, they are likely to binge eat because their leptin appetite regulating hormone falls, thus promoting appetite increase.1, 23

How can Ensure help?

Seniors can look towards supplementary nutrition such as various Ensure products. Ensure is scientifically formulated to provide you with complete balance nutrition and provides you with a convenient way to receive key nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, antioxidants, zinc and vitamin D they may find lacking in regular food.4