Exercise + Sleep To Boost Your Immune System: How It Works

We all feel so much better after a good night’s sleep. Plus we’ve all heard how important sleep hygiene is (that includes things like sticking to a regular sleep schedule, creating a bedtime routine, etc.). 

But did you know that studies are now showing how exercise affects your sleep, and through providing better sleep, can boost your immune system?

In recognition of May being Better Sleep Month, and in honor of your immune system, here is another reason to get in that exercise:

According to Dana Neacsu, MD, a hospitalist at Gwinnett Medical Center, exercise reduces levels of cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone, which leads to better quality sleep.

Normally cortisol levels are higher in the morning and lower in the evening, but if levels are constantly high, you can be too mentally wound up to sleep. Exercise acts as a release valve for cortisol, allowing better sleep and the downtime your body needs to make its nightly repairs.

Dr. Neacsu, who also studied integrative medicine, adds, “While exercise is beneficial, don’t overdo it. Consider incorporating walking, yoga, breathing exercises or Tai Chi into your routine.”

How Gwinnett Medical Center Can Help

If you’re not sleeping well, or if you think you’ve slept, but still wake up feeling tired, there might be an underlying cause. The first step is a physical exam – visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org to find the perfect doctor for your needs.

And if your physician recommends a sleep study, GMC’s Center for Sleep Disorders performs comprehensive testing in a private, safe setting, with the highest standards of care. Learn more at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/sleep.


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