Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Immune System Busters

Full list can be found here, but below are two that caught my eye:

3. Avoid Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation has a powerfully detrimental effect on your immune system. The perfect example is college students who get sick after pulling all-nighters cramming for exams.

If you're tired when you wake up in the morning, you're not getting enough sleep, or maybe not enough quality sleep. Either way, your immunity is probably compromised. Poor sleep is associated with lower immune system function and reduced numbers of killer cells that fight germs. Killer cells are also the part of the immune system that combats cells that divide too rapidly, as they do in cancer. Lower their numbers and you may be at greater risk for illness.

Studies have shown that chronic sleep deprivation also contributes to heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and other medical illnesses. One study on the effects of sleep deprivation showed that a group of men restricted to 4 to 6 hours of sleep per night experienced changes in hormone function and carbohydrate metabolism that mimic aging changes; the lack of sleep was making them older faster.

10. Use Laughter to Beat Stress

Researchers have found that the positive emotions associated with laughter decrease stress hormones and increase certain immune cells while activating others. In one study conducted at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California, 10 healthy men who watched a funny video for an hour had significant increases in one particular hormone of the immune system that activates other components of the immune system.

So how can you add a little humor to your life? Simply find reasons to laugh. Rent a funny video; read a book of jokes. Have lunch with a friend known for her sense of humor. Lightening up can really light up your immune system.

Hope everyone stays healthy this holiday season!

2 comments:

HappyBunny said...

Health is very important. :) Thank you so much for the encouragement and tips on GMAT. I will study hard, and keep working on my weak spots.

Best luck with all your applications!! I was originally from bay area. I use to live in Pleasant Hill (East Bay, close to Concord)

HappyBunny said...

It definitely gives me a sense of urgency. I taped the test date over my tv remote, so I don't end up veg out in front of the tv every day when I get home.