About avoiding stress and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm
to increase resilience to fight COVID-19
Artwork © by Sabina Nore
My previous blog is related to this subject matter - a reprint with permission from The Conversation,
it speaks about the effects of news on the psyche:
I recommend reading that blog first, and then return here to get the perspective of the
click the above link to read (opens in separate window)
Relax, get enough sleep! A related article speaks about a healthy circadian rhythm:
Beyond sanitizing and social distancing
a healthy circadian rhythm may keep you sane
and increase resilience to fight COVID-19
Social distancing and washing hands have become the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, but there is another powerfully protective resource immediately available to all: your circadian rhythm.
While isolation and hygiene are effective in reducing the chance of infection, they do little to increase our resilience to the virus so that we suffer less and recover faster. In addition, the stress and worry caused by current trends – school and business closures, self-quarantines and mandates to stay at home – don’t help. The strains on our physical and psychological health can leave us even more vulnerable to viruses and other health issues. The answer to boosting your immunity may lie in simple steps you can take to maintain a robust circadian rhythm by developing and following a daily routine.
I head a lab that researches circadian rhythms, the daily cycles of bodily functions that form the foundation of good health. These body clocks, found in nearly every organ of the body and part of the brain, are central and vital to a properly functioning immune system. A synchronized circadian rhythm in the lungs, heart, kidney and brain ensures that the processes in our body go as planned while the immune system can effectively fight and defeat a virus. When the timing systems in the human body are desynchronized, essential organs are compromised, reducing the potency of your immune system. Circadian disruption dampens your immune system and makes a virus harder to defeat.
How Chronic Stress affects our immune system | How to improve your immune system
Chronic stress can negatively affect our immune system making you more vulnerable to infections and diseases. The chemical reactions triggered by stressful situations result in an obslaught of stress hormones being pumped around the body while these hormones are useful in acute situations. Their ability to interfere with the immune system can result in inflammation. Reduced white blood cells, and a higher susceptibility to infection and tissue damage.
Last, but not least, the definitive paper on the subject from the US National Library of Medicine
Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System:
A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry
The present report meta-analyzes more than 300 empirical articles describing a relationship between psychological stress and parameters of the immune system in human participants. Acute stressors (lasting minutes) were associated with potentially adaptive upregulation of some parameters of natural immunity and downregulation of some functions of specific immunity. Brief naturalistic stressors (such as exams) tended to suppress cellular immunity while preserving humoral immunity. Chronic stressors were associated with suppression of both cellular and humoral measures. Effects of event sequences varied according to the kind of event (trauma vs. loss). Subjective reports of stress generally did not associate with immune change. In some cases, physical vulnerability as a function of age or disease also increased vulnerability to immune change during stressors.