With the current coronavirus outbreak gripping the nation, people are scrambling to prepare themselves for a possible two-week isolation. But while many are stockpiling protective gear to avoid the illness, most aren't paying close attention to the little things you can do to support the body's natural defence mechanism.
WATCH: Want To Get A Better Night's Sleep? These Comfort Hacks Will Help You On Your Way
And that includes getting sufficient shut-eye. Recent research has confirmed that those who aren't getting adequate sleep have weakened immunity and are more likely to catch viruses.
“Sleep is now well understood to benefit immunity,” says Dr Moira Junge, spokesperson for the Sleep Health Foundation. “An early night may be just what you need to boost your mood and immunity and help protect yourself from illness.”
“It’s a vicious cycle because if you're sleep-deprived, you're more likely to be anxious and when you’re anxious you’re more likely to not be able to sleep well." Dr Junge continues.
“Take our advice and prioritise getting a good night’s sleep. Put down your phone, close your laptop and go to sleep."
If you’re nervous that an illness is just around the corner, Dr Junge suggests setting aside a "worry time" to help you avoid anxiousness before going to bed.
“Use this time to think about what has been happening during the day, make plans and possible solutions. Then don’t think about these things until the next day,” she adds.
“If other thoughts come in, consider them for a moment and then try to gently replace them with calm thoughts.”
And If you’re curious about how long you need to stick under the sheets for, the recommendation for adults aged 18 to 64 is 7-9 hours per night.