Sleep And COVID-19, What’s The Connection?

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Image credit to https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/sleep

What has sleep got to do with Covid-19 and its variants now that cases are spiking again? With less sleep, melatonin level goes down. With low melatonin, people are more likely to get sick and, thus, weakens the immune system.

By Gwenn Canlas

Author Gwenn Canlas is an artist/advertising practitioner, a Certified Acupuncturist, and Beauty, Health and Wellness Advocate. She is a consultant at The Aesthetic Center of The Farm at San Benito in Lipa City and writes to help people access information about their health and wellness options.

What if I told you that one of the keys to surviving this pandemic is getting enough sleep?

According to a new study by Feixiong Cheng, a Cleveland Clinic data analyst, COVID-19 and sleep have a unique relationship.

One observation becomes very apparent: Melatonin could potentially impede the virus.

Melatonin Effect

Melatonin is produced in the brain’s pineal gland and regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycles. It’s the hormone that helps you get a good night’s sleep. Melatonin helps calibrate the immune system and could impede the spread of viruses.

It’s a fascinating connection and partly explains why sleep is such a vital tool for immune system repair.

Melatonin functions as a moderator to keep our self-protective responses in check — which is the fundamental issue that may quickly turn a mild case of COVID-19 into a life-threatening situation.

Better Chances Of Survival

Cheng and his colleagues spent months compiling data from hundreds of patients who visited their medical institution.

Melatonin users had a significantly decreased risk of acquiring COVID-19, let alone dying from it.

A Columbia University research indicated that intubated patients who were given melatonin had a greater likelihood of survival.

Here are some melatonin and immune function facts you need to know.

Flips The Immune System’s ‘On Switch’

Our white blood cells, the main player in the body’s immune function, have melatonin receptors. Melatonin appears to be a factor in “turning on” the activity of T-cells, a special type of white blood cell, and enhancing the function of T-cell helper lymphocytes.

 

Provides Immune Cells With Antioxidant Protection

Melatonin is a special kind of “clean” antioxidant. It protects cells without triggering the production of free radicals. This is important for immune cells, including phagocyte cells. 

Phagocyte immune cells are like Pac Men traveling through your bloodstream gobbling up pathogens. Melatonin helps to optimize phagocyte action.

 

Protects Aging Immune Systems

Somewhere in our 30s or 40s, we begin to experience an age-related dip in immune function. 

Our body’s melatonin production starts to drop around the same time. Research shows these two events are connected. Taking a melatonin supplement could make a difference for older adults trying to boost their immunity. 

Children have as much as 10 times the amount of natural melatonin production as older adults when it comes to protecting themselves against coronaviruses.

 

Help For Lung Injury

Melatonin may offer help in blunting injury to the lungs from the coronavirus. 

Low melatonin levels may be a reason why people are more likely to get sick when jet-lagged. 

It also helps explain why getting a good night’s sleep helps to boost our immune system.

 

Sleep In The Dark

Sleep in a very dark room. No night lights or glowing screens. 

This enhances your body’s natural melatonin production. 

Sleep also helps to regulate metabolism, including glucose, and mechanisms controlling appetite and weight gain.

 

Effect On Vaccines

Getting enough good quality sleep will optimize your metabolism and make you maximally prepared in the event of the flu or cold, Flu shots appear to be more effective among people who have slept well in the days preceding the shot.

 

Dream COVID Away!

Researchers, from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the University of Texas at San Antonio, show significant data that melatonin limits virus-related diseases and would also likely be beneficial in COVID-19 patients.

 

There’s no better time than now to get serious about getting enough sleep. 

Sleep like your life depends on it.

Hopefully, it won’t.

 

 

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