Stress, Sleep, and Saving Your Immune System

Sleep is one of the most important daily times that our bodies need to recharge, recover, and repair. Our nervous system is bombarded all day with headlines, notifications, and input from an increasing number of sources. It is, after all, 2021 and technology seems to know no bounds. But what exactly can getting a good night’s rest actually do for our bodies? Along with all of the repairing and digesting, and healing, our immune system gets a boost when we get enough sleep.

There are many ways to boost your immune system, and they are all important. No matter what people say, there is no silver bullet for health. Being healthy is a lifestyle and your immunity is a reflection of how well your lifestyle is keeping you healthy. If you’re frequently sick, chances are that something in your lifestyle is not working and it is an invitation to explore different ways to upgrade your health.

You can influence your immunity by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Minimize stress
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes

Your immune system is your body’s way of fighting bacterial infections, parasites, and viruses. Having a healthy immune system is a powerful way to keep yourself safe and healthy. By eating immune boosting foods and taking immune boosting vitamins, you can increase your immune defense. Aside from eating a healthy diet, one of the easiest ways to get an immune system booster is to get a good night’s sleep. 

Taking a Break from ‘Fight or Flight’

Photo by Thiago Matos

While we are sleeping, our body has an opportunity to repair and recharge. During the day, when we are stressed from too much coffee, traffic, or the countless other inputs we endure daily, our nervous system spends much of its time in Sympathetic Overdrive, a state where our sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system is in control. Our sympathetic nervous system pushes energy into parts of our body that are necessary for fighting or running to save our life. Our blood pressure increases, we sweat, our breathing changes, and different parts of our brain turn on and off. The sympathetic nervous system directs energy away from non essential systems like digestion, sexual function, and, you guessed it, your immune system. After the sympathetic nervous system has been running the show for a while, our body falls into disrepair and we suffer from chronic lifestyle conditions. Our hormonal system gets out of balance. Our digestive system gets sluggish and inefficient. Our immune system weakens and becomes unable to fight off the bacteria and viruses that we encounter on a daily basis. Eventually, we “catch a cold” that forces us push pause on our lives for a few days to sleep and recover from the stressful grind we have been living in. Only then will our body have the chance to heal and strengthen its immune system.

Conversely, when our parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest system, takes over, our bodies are fully relaxed and focused on healing injured and worn out tissues, thoroughly digesting our food, and defending keeping us from getting sick. Our immune system does the work of clearing our bodies of any foreign material, parasites, viruses, and bacterial infection efficiently and effectively when stimulated by our parasympathetic nervous system. 

When we are chronically stressed, not only is our sympathetic nervous system running the show and weakening our immune system, but we aren’t able to sleep as deeply or as long as necessary. Our body starts to feel run down and we drink caffeine to stay awake, which further increases our physiological stress and pushes our nervous system more into sympathetic dominance. It starts a vicious cycle where the more stressed we get, the less we sleep, which stresses us even more. 

NetworkSpinal is a type of chiropractic treatment designed to break the cycle of chronic stress and overstimulation

NetworkSpinal is a form of chiropractic that is specifically designed to break the cycle and help our bodies release tension. Physical tension in our bodies is a reflection of the tension we feel in our lives. When our system learns to let go of muscular tension, we feel more relaxed in our bodies, emotions, and minds as well. 

NetworkSpinal brings awareness to different tension patterns we are carrying in our bodies and helps us not only let the old patterns go, which has dramatic effects on our ability to relax, but upgrades our response to stressful situations so we don’t store stress in our bodies in the first place. By upgrading the stress response, we stop adding to the backlog of stress that is keeping us up at night.

Reducing the amount of stress we have in our bodies changes our neurology and releases the cause of the sympathetic dominance that drains our immune system. By allowing our body to actually relax, the parasympathetic nervous system has an opportunity to strengthen our ability to heal and defend our bodies, emotions, and minds. When your body is allowed to use its energy to heal, you will notice that you have much more energy to live your life. You will wake rested in the morning before your alarm goes off. You will have the energy to stay consistent with your workout regimen. You will not run to ice cream for comfort at the end of a long week. You will naturally have a positive outlook on life and attract better people and things into your life. 

Stopping stress before it becomes disease

Stress has been linked to over 2000 different disease process in the human body. In this post, I have only mentioned a few. NetworkSpinal is a remarkably powerful tool because it focuses on upgrading your physiological stress response so that your body can handle new stress better and unpack and release old stress. Even if we are peaceful in our minds, our bodies can be carrying stress unconsciously. Over time, this stress can cause a number of the lifestyle diseases that are prevalent in the western world. 

If you are losing sleep and don’t know why, it is a good sign that you have a lot of stress built up in your body. Whether you can’t fall asleep because your mind is racing or you wake up periodically all night and don’t feel rested when you wake up, a likely culprit underlying it all is chronic physiological stress. The trouble is, not only does the stress impact your sleep, but it also weakens your immune system. As mentioned before, the lack of sleep adds more stress and weakens your immune system further, leading you to get sick. In a world where the strength of your immune system is becoming increasingly important, stopping the stress cycle is crucial. NetworkSpinal is a wonderful tool for lifting the stress, helping your body sleep, and strengthening your immune system. 

About the Author
Dr. Andrew Wright

Dr. Andrew Wright

Dr. Andrew Wright is the founder of AVO as well as a NetworkSpinal Chiropractor. Early on he realized a profound desire to help others in health and life through a vitalistic health mode and is in his second year studying directly under Dr. Donald M. Epstein, the founder of EpiEnergetics and developer of NetworkSpinal.He feels honored to serve his community in Atlanta and is on a mission to help people find freedom from the prison of disease and to truly create a life worth living.