We’ve heard a lot about washing hands and other hygienic practices to help stem the Coronavirus outbreak. Believe me, this is welcome, as the amount of people you see failing to wash their hands after using a public restroom is downright disgusting.
But there are other weapons that I believe are at least as important in fighting infectious diseases.
In my experience, just about anytime I come down with a cold, flu, or other illness, I can trace it back to a lack of sleep.
When I do get adequate sleep, I either don’t get sick at all, or develop a mild case at worst.
Barriers to Sleep
There’s no need for me to tell you how to sleep. But perhaps I can provide some encouragement to actually utilize the best, free illness antidote. For me, the number one impediment to adequate sleep is staying up too late looking at YouTube videos or some other form of entertainment.
I keep a closer eye on myself in this department than I used to. And it pays off. I try to put a stopping point to my nighttime activity BEFORE I get tired! This way I can spend some quality time practicing prayer and meditation before bed, which also happen to be great forms of rest (mind and spirit).
As I typically awaken fairly early and often don’t get quality sleep, my fallback is to incorporate naps (preferably mid-day, otherwise I will stay up too late).
I know others who do the same, and swear by them.
If you are not able to get adequate sleep at night, I’d recommend incorporating naps if this is possible with your work situation. Of course, if naps hurt your nighttime sleep, this recommendation would not necessarily apply.
Naps take a rap as being something children do, but hey, if we’re weighing the possibility of getting Coronavirus vs. likely vastly improving our chances of surviving it by taking a rest during the day, I’d opt for the rest!
The choice of what food we eat has obvious benefits in strengthening our immune system, which is what this is all about. I have made some personal discoveries in this area. Obviously, ingesting a ton of sugar hurts the immune system.
But there are other less obvious food choices that can impact—for good or “ill”—our immune system. One of these, is the amount of certain nutrients and macronutrients we consume.
For instance, for me, at my age (almost 60), I find that my body can only handle so much animal fat.
This has a major effect on my sleep quality, as my liver, kidneys, and other digestive organs are forced to work harder while I sleep after an animal fat-heavy late meal.
I advise you to pay attention to this kind of thing, particularly as you age.
I hope this reminder to get adequate sleep and rest, and to watch your diet, is helpful. These choices makes a huge difference in every area of our lives, and of course, at bottom, can help keep us alive!
To your health and fitness…
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com. Its focus is natural health and independent living. Patrick is the author of GREEK PHYSIQUE: The Simple, Satisfying Way to Sculpt Your Body—Even if You’re Old, Weak, or Broken Down; and is also the creator of Greek Yoga™ and the Greek Yoga for Beginners video. He offers health and fitness consulting in-person in Middle Tennessee and worldwide via phone, Zoom, and Skype. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].