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Here’s Why You Should Sleep, Rest More To Avoid COVID-19

Health authorities have been encouraging or requiring people to stay home to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in their community. An expert suggests that people should also spend time to relax and sleep to further reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Stress, lack of sleep and loneliness have long been linked to weaker immune systems. If people continue to think about the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and lose a good rest at night, they might become more likely to get the virus and have complications.

Some studies focused on the cold virus also showed that even healthy people could become at risk of becoming more sick if they spend less time around others. Those who experience loneliness may have worse symptoms than those people who socialize, Futurity reported Wednesday

“In my field, we have conducted a lot of work to look at what predicts who gets colds and different forms of respiratory illnesses, and who is more susceptible to getting sick,” Christopher Fagundes, an associate professor in the psychological sciences department at Rice University, said. “We’ve found that stress, loneliness and lack of sleep are three factors that can seriously compromise aspects of the immune system that make people more susceptible to viruses if exposed.” 

He explained that the effects of stress, loneliness and disrupted sleep could increase the production of proinflammatory cytokines in the body. People with higher levels of the molecule may develop upper respiratory infection symptoms.

Fagundes said that there are ways to avoid stress, loneliness and sleep deprivation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The first and best option is to stay connected with family and friends through communication such as video calls.

“There is some evidence that it may be better to video conference versus having a regular phone call to reduce feelings of isolation,” he said. “There’s something about chatting with people and having them visually ‘with’ you that seems to be more of a buffer against loneliness.”

Having a routine during challenging times may also help reduce the bad effects of stress and improve sleep quality. Fagundes said putting more focus on immediate goals and plans could help people “overthink things less and feel more accomplished.”

COVID-19 Pandemic Health authorities encourage people with symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for seven days, keep a 2-meter distance from other people at home and to sleep alone. Pixabay

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