Want to Boost Your Immunity? Spend More Time in Your Bed!

You’ve probably read about how certain super foods can boost your immunity and ward off colds and flu naturally. We bet you already have those food items in your pantry, ready for use in case you feel a slight scratch in your throat. However, what most of our patients here at the Washington Wellness Center tend to overlook is the need to sleep and rest enough and how it can affect the state of their immune system.

Here’s an excerpt from this journal article studying the links between sleep and immune function:

“In summary, chronic sleep deprivation can be seen as an unspecific state of chronic stress, which per se impacts immune functions and general health. The adverse effects of chronic sleep deprivation comprise an enhanced risk for various diseases as a consequence of a persistent low-grade systemic inflammation on the one hand, as well as a manifest immunodeficiency characterised by an enhanced susceptibility to infections and a reduced immune response to vaccination on the other hand.”

Quick Guide to Getting Enough Sleep

As part of our holistic psychotherapy in managing and treating health conditions, we recommend the following guidelines to making sure that you get enough sleep and rest every night:

  • Reduce your exposure to artificial light such as in television, digital devices, and fluorescent lighting 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. It has been found out that blue artificial light suppresses melatonin production which in turn disturbs one’s circadian rhythm resulting to sleep deprivation.
  • Sleep and wake up at the same time even on weekends.
  • If you regularly consume caffeine, try not to drink caffeinated drinks after lunchtime.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. In addition, you might want to wear socks to keep you warm and increase your deep sleep.
  • Figure out which activities earlier in the day help you feel more relaxed at night time. You might discover than an hour of doing laps at the pool on late afternoons can make you sleep right away.

Holistic Psychotherapy in Iowa City and neighboring areas
With each individual or family, our approach is tailored to best meet your unique needs and goals. Our intent is to provide strategies and tools that can be easily integrated into your daily routine, in order to support you in creating more satisfaction, peace and well-being in your life. Call 319.466.0026 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to your visit!

You Are Your Gut Bacteria!

Exciting times are ahead for science with recent discoveries on the link between the state of your gut bacteria and your overall health — from its link to obesity to how it can help boost your mood to helping you finally get over your childhood asthma. Sounds crazy right?

At the Washington Wellness Center, discovering what’s new in health and wellness research is part of our functional medicine approach in treating modern day health maladies. As mentioned earlier, the latest scientific findings is trying to tell us that not all bacteria are to be shunned and considered as enemies. In fact, being germ-free may not actually be a good thing at all!

Below is just a glimpse of what we’re talking about when we say that it may work to our advantage if we nurture some varieties of bacteria in our body rather than kill them off with antibiotics and antibacterial soaps!

How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin – This article from The Scientific American talks about how the growing worldwide problem on obesity may be linked to a combination of lack of certain bacteria in your gut such as H.Pylori, the typical Western diet, and the increasing shift to formula feeding and Caesarian delivery rather than the traditional vaginal birth followed by breastfeeding.

Antibiotics: Killing Off Beneficial Bacteria.. for Good? – Science writer Mary McKenna outlines the findings of a study on how frequent and/or prolonged use of antibiotics is fueling the current rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and various types of allergies.

The Hygiene Hypothesis: Is Our Obsession With Cleaning Make Us Sick?  –  This article explains the Hygiene Hypothesis in which it is theorized that children who grow up in rural areas such as farms tend to have lower incidence of asthma and other forms of allergies than their counterparts who live in the city.

Melancholic Microbes: A Link Between Gut Microbiota and Depression– This abstract explains the relationship between the state of your gut to your mood, and how it can be influenced by factors such as probiotic use, fecal transplantation, and gastrointestinal infection.

The links above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recent findings about relationship of your gut microbiome and overall health. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your gut health and see if it it will benefit your overall health at the same time, we invite you to get in touch with us for a personal consultation! Call 319.466.0026 or by fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to your visit!