The COVID crisis has changed how you interact with society, which can be stressful, overwhelming and very strange. Even as things begin to reopen and return to a state of normalcy, you still may not feel comfortable doing some of the things you used to do. However, it is important that you remain mentally and physically healthy as society begins to reopen and adjust to a new normal.
Deal With Any Health Issues
You may be thinking that you need to put off any or all health issues that you have developed during this time because it is unsafe to visit your doctor’s office. However, that is no longer the case as Telehealth services have become more and more prevalent.
Telehealth is a resource that offers patients health-related services via telecommunication technologies. This will allow you to speak to a doctor about any health conditions that you have had or that have recently developed.
Many people have developed extreme anxiety or depression due to the stressful state of the world right now. Luckily many Telehealth companies are able to prescribe medications to help you with those conditions.
Using Telehealth is also a great way to take the pressure off any sensitive topics that you may feel uncomfortable discussing in person. Therefore, now is a better time than any to schedule a Telehealth appointment to discuss any health issues you may have been putting off such as erectile dysfunction. Utilizing Telehealth services to get information and erectile dysfunction medication, like Viagra, will not only provide you a secure and convenient online consultation, you will also be able to avoid any waiting room anxiety.
Get An Adequate Amount of Sleep
As mentioned before, there has been an increase in anxiety and depression-related illnesses since the COVID outbreak began. The same stressors that are causing those higher rates are also causing a change in sleeping patterns, eating habits, ability to concentrate and use of substances in citizens.
1 in 5 people suffer from sleep-related problems, which range from difficulty falling asleep, frequently waking up, and waking up early. The symptoms can weigh on you and have a significant impact on our quality of life.
As a result of inadequate sleep, many people turn to an easy solution, being medication. However, sleep medication can have adverse effects and be ineffective in the long run. So, you ideally want to get down to the root of the problem, which could be your sleep environment, being overly stressed, what you’re consuming and more.
There are many things that can help you have a better nights sleep and they include:
Reducing your use of electronic devices 1 hour before bed
Not eating 1 hour before bed
You may or may not have noticed that you are more sedentary now than you ever were before. Although social distancing is benefiting you in many ways, it can also harm your physical wellbeing. With fewer places to go and fewer things to do, you are far less active. Even the simple task of waking up, getting ready and going into the office was a part of your daily exercise, but now most people likely wake up and move from their bedroom to the living room.
That being said, it is now vital to track your daily movement, to ensure you are getting enough exercise throughout the day to support a healthy mind and body. Research has shown, you should strive for about 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which comes out to about 30 minutes 5 days a week. If you struggle to get in an adequate amount of exercise week to week, purchase a fitness tracker to help keep track of your movement, and also motivate you.
Along with a change in exercise and movement, social distancing can affect your eating habits as well. Many people may find themselves mindlessly over-snacking, out of boredom or stress, or not eating enough due to reduced activity or anxiety.
It is just as important to track your eating and drinking habits as it is to track your exercise habits because they compliment each other. You should aim to maintain a calorie deficit, so you need to adjust your amount of consumption based on the amount of exercise you’re getting each week.
You should avoid consuming foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat and focus on fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. You should also avoid drinking your calories in the form of soda and high sugar juices and switch to healthier alternatives like seltzer water. These foods and drinks will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you energized and alert.
Lastly, another important aspect of staying mentally and physically healthy during this time is to get outside and enjoy nature. Getting sunlight and fresh air is an integral part of remaining healthy. Just taking a walk outside has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, which also reduces your heart rate and blood pressure.
Also, proper exposure to sunlight can improve your mood and overall health, as the sun causes your skin to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an active role in preventing or fighting illnesses such as arthritis, eczema, thyroiditis and more. Sunlight also triggers your brain to produce serotonin, whereas darkness triggers your brain to produce melatonin. According to Healthline, serotonin is known for boosting your mood and helping you feel calm and focused. Melatonin, however, is known for making you sleepy. So, try to get out of your house 1-3 times during the day for proper sun exposure, with the use of sunscreen, of course.
Although COVID-19 has drastically changed the way that you are able to do things, it shouldn’t hold you back from being your best self, both mentally and physically. There are plenty of things you can focus on that you may have put off before like confronting your health issues, adjusting your sleep patterns for better quality and making sure you’re eating and exercising correctly. Maintaining all of those activities will make you feel healthier and ready to take on the world before you know it.
Getting your body to its strongest and healthiest shape may have been lurking around your list of 2020 goals. With the current pandemic however — all plans to boost your immune system and body’s strength must now take top priority.
To achieve this, usual suspects like diets, vitamins and supplements are resorted to. But there’s another proven method to strengthen and boost your immunity. A method so easy, you can do it with both eyes closed: getting a good night’s sleep.
With its healing and restorative powers, we’ll be examining the general benefits of sleep and the special role it plays in improving your immunity. We’ll also be checking out what happens when you cut corners with sleep. Next to that we look into why 7+ hours of a night’s rest are essential for a healthy immune system.
At the first signs of a fever, it isn’t uncommon for friends and family alike to advise that you attempt a little rest to sleep it away. Have a headache? Get some sleep. Beginnings of the flu? Go lie down. There’s hardly any ailment whose first course of treatment doesn’t recommend some good old-fashioned rest and relaxation. But is there any basis to this?
When it comes to the question of sleep boosting your immune system and keeping illness at bay — you cannot dispute its effectiveness. Studies have shown that skimming on sleep can impact how easily susceptible the body becomes to disease-causing pathogens like bacteria and viruses. The amount of sleep you get at night influences your convalescence period. Quality sleep is likely to shorten it, and insufficient sleep only lengthens the recovery process.
Sleep works magic for immunity. Because of that, the immune system shows its thanks by improving the quality of sleep, allowing for better and deeper rest.
Benefits of sleep
When it comes to the benefits of sleep, its value in keeping morning crankiness at bay, banishing under eye circles or even magically fortifying beauty is widely accepted.
Beyond these benefits however, getting between 7-8 hours of sleep every night can greatly improve your body’s well-being in many important ways.
Here are 5 ways getting a good night’s rest could keep your body buzzing with energy and good health:
Sleep reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
If it could, your heart would probably whisper ‘thanks’, whenever you kept to your bedtime, and postponed your favorite Netflix series till the morning.
If your morning workout has ever left you wishing you could lose weight while asleep, then we have a little news for you.
While sleep won’t have you losing ten pounds overnight, 7- 8 hours of rest at night couldaid in weight control. Being sleep deprived can leave you unmotivated to exercise in the morning.A study shows it also encourages the brain to crave comfort foods like high carb snacks.
Adequate sleep helps prevent this. With healthy rest, you encourage your body’s regular production of Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and Lenin (the hormone that tells your body to stop eating).
Sleep is important for maintaining a good mood
There’s a reason getting only a little sleep at night can leave you feeling plenty irritable, cranky and just downright miserable come morning.
Sleep has been proven to affect the mood.Studies have shownthat even a partial deprivation of sleep can leave you feeling stressed, angry and mentally exhausted. Normal sleep can have a reversal effect on your mood.
Sleep increases productivity
Here’s a suggestion you might raise a brow at. The next time you feel unmotivated or uninspired at work? Make sure you get between 7- 8 hours of sleep later at night and subsequently after.
This is because insufficient and inconsistent sleep is proven to induce stress on the brain. It affects the rate your brain functions, translating to decreased work productivity.
With adequate sleep, you reduce your chances of burnout, improve your memory and make better decisions.
Sleep can help to prevent inflammation
Ordinarily, inflammation occurs as our body’s response to fight off disease-causing pathogens. Unfortunately, sometimes this response can be against harmless cells in the body, leading to auto-immune diseases like arthritis and lupus.
Consistently getting quality sleep can help prevent inflammation brought on by poor sleeping habits.
Boost your immune system with sleep
Sleep and immunity operate on a two-way street. When disease-causing microbial organisms activate the immune system, it usually triggers an increase in the length of sleep and its intensity. When you don’t sleep well (enough), your immune system will weaken. In addition to being more susceptible to pathogens, you produce less sleep-inducing substances, so you will sleep less deeply. This sleep then assists the immune system in fighting off diseases.
By enhancing the length and intensity of sleep, the body’s defense system is strengthened. The production of hormones necessary for the countering of harmful organisms occurs during rest. Transmitters like cytokines which help to increase and regulate the immune system’s response to infection and inflammation are produced during the body’s deep sleep. Cytokines such as interleukin are also instrumental in inducing fatigue.
After assisting with defeating inflammation and infections, a good night’s sleep also ensures that your immune system remembers how to keep the bad guys out. It achieves this by strengthening the response memory of the immune system, allowing it to respond faster and more effectively to previously encountered microbes.
You produce infection fighting antibodies during sleep
Imagine this: your body is a war zone under direct attack from disease-causing pathogens. For protection, your immune system releases machoT-Cellswith three things on their agenda:
Recognize the pathogens
Attach to them using adhesive proteins called integrins
There’s a snag however. Present in your body are molecules like adrenaline and prostaglandin which prevent your T-Cells from attaching, suppressing your immune response. This is where sleep comes in.
Research has shown lower levels of these molecules are produced while sleeping, allowing the T-Cells less interference to do their jobs.
Sleep helps in the production of Cytokines
To fight off infection and inflammation, the body relies on a group of proteins called cytokines.
Thanks to the cytokines, infection fighting antibodies and cells produced during sleep, getting your body the adequate amount of rest will benefit your immune system.
What Happens To Your Immune System When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Think about it like this: your immune system is like a battalion of soldiers ready to go to war against disease causing pathogens for you. It simply requires that you arm it with a balanced diet, regular exercise and sleep to allow it to do its job efficiently.
Sleep plays an important role in producing antibodies, anti-inflammation, weight control, mood regulation, the improvement of heart health etcetera. Its absence or inadequacy could open the body to infections, inflammatory diseases like arthritis, obesity, depression and even life threatening heart disease like stroke or high blood pressure.
Without adequate sleep i.e. 7-8 hours, you surpress the body’s immune response. This opens it up to chronic systemic, low-grade inflammation which is linked to diseases like diabetes and neurodegeneration.
On the outside, a night of inadequate rest can leave your eye bags heavy, your emotions weary and your energy lacking. On the inside, things don’t look any better.
To have a strong enough immune system, your body needs the required amount of rest to boost its immunity. But as we’ve seen, the immune system also has a part to play in improving the body’s sleep. Making both body functions mutually beneficial and important to the other.
Somnox has raised significant growth capital from Dutch investment fund: Health Investment Partners (HIP). The sleep-tech startup develops products and services that help people with sleeping problems improve their sleep quality.
HIP has expressed that investing in sleep, particularly at this time, is essential for a strong, healthy immune system. With their innovative Sleep Robot, Somnox has a proven technology to help people sleep better and improve their overall health.
HIP’s growth capital is supplemented by bank loans from Rabobank.
Figure 1: Somnox team in their Rotterdam office
It all started with a family member’s sleeping problem
Somnox was born Delft University of Technology out of the need to help a family member who suffered severely from sleep problems. In 2018, after hundreds of hours of research, testing and prototyping, Somnox – The World’s First Sleep Robot was introduced. And today it has helped over 4,500 people improve their sleep quality, overall health and quality of life.
After participating in YES! Delft’s accelerator program, Somnox carried out a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, as well as a collaboration with Koninklijke Auping. This led the creation of the first sleep robot prototype and a successful product on the market.
Since then, sleep-tech startup has successfully launched its products in the US and Europe and has garnered a lot of international media coverage (CNN, Fox, etc, etc). They have also won several prestigious industry awards for innovation and technology (Red Dot Design, Rabobank Sustainable Innovation Award, Best of CES).
Helping 100 million people sleep better in 2030
“Our sleep-propositions and dream team are all set. The new capital will enable us to accelerate our growth worldwide. After a flying start in 2019, this injection will allow us to improve our current products and add several innovations to our portfolio.
We can scale up faster to achieve our mission of helping 100 million people sleep better in 2030. We will do this not only with products, but also with knowledge and services that contribute to this. To achieve this, we will focus our growth strategy over the next three years on the Netherlands, the US and the UK.”
Figure 2: The Somnox Sleep Robot in use
The unique approach
Using Somnox’s Sleep Robot, bad sleepers can naturally fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up energetically with the device’s breathing regulation, sounds and mobile app. Science has proven the added value of breathing on sleep because of the main cause of sleeplessness –– stress and anxiety. People who have ‘tried everything’ before to improve their sleep will particularly benefit. Already, Somnox has over a hundred complimentary user experiences on TrustPilot.
Sleep as the best health insurance
“If we all got enough sleep? Then the health care system would be drastically reduced, we would have better mental health. Businesses would be more productive, global economies healthier, traffic safer and our children smarter. Sleep is the best health insurance you can get. A well-rested world is a better world.”
Note for the editors: images of team Somnox and our products can be downloaded here.
About HIP (Health Investment Partner)
Health Investment Partners (HIP) is an investment fund that focuses on innovative companies with a sustainable impact in terms of prevention, efficiency and quality in healthcare. HIP does so providing growth capital and hands-on guidance. By doing so, HIP wants to contribute to keeping healthcare accessible. HIP has previously invested in QRS, FamilySupporters, Sananet, Mantelaar and SMan.
Somnox develops products and services that contribute to a better night’s sleep. Their first product is the Somnox Sleep Robot which has received worldwide press attention for its innovative character to eliminate insomnia.
Somnox has won several prominent awards (Red Dot Design Award, iF Design Award) and has a partnership with Auping. Somnox also owns several patents.
With Somnox we are doing our best to help 100 million people before 2030. We believe that sleep is a superpower – not just Somnox’s superpower, but of all of us.
A good night’s rest ensures a healthy life
Sleep is one of the main pillars of a healthy life. A good night’s rest ensures a better recovery of your body. At night your body rests from everything you’ve done and experienced during the day, to gather energy for the next day. Furthermore, a good night’s rest has many positive effects on our brain: less stress, a calmer feeling and an improved memory are just a few examples.
In today’s reality, the world is facing a major health crisis. A good night’s rest is more important than ever, because it has a positive effect on our immune system: after a good night’s sleep, you will feel stronger, fitter and more resilient to diseases. A good night’s rest doesn’t only make our parents and children stronger, but all of us.
How Somnox contributes to a good night’s rest
At Somnox we realised that rest and relaxation are the basis of a good night’s sleep. That is why we focus, among other things, on simulating calming breathing techniques with our Somnox Sleep Robot. In addition, we started the Somnox Academy with a video course of 27 lessons on the fundamentals of sleep. We want to expand this by sharing articles about sleep, breathing, and mindfulness on our blog and doing a sleep quiz that gives you free sleep advice. We have also been recording sleep meditations (for now only in Dutch) to help you sleep even deeper. Through our content we hope to accelerate our mission to make sleep more accessible for everyone.
To celebrate World Sleep Day, we have decided to give everyone who buys a Sleep Robot between the 13th and 20th of March a discount of €100,-. We also have something new for our Dutch customers: as of today, you can pay for the Sleep Robot in three installments. For all our products we offer the possibility to try them out for 30 nights. We also ensure Dutch quality, a two year warranty and lifelong support –– we will always be ready for you.
Sleep is a superpower –– for all of us. Let’s work together to make it as accessible as possible. For every age, for every budget, for everyone on this planet.
A productive workout session should have the right balance of functional, isometric, and plyometric exercises. Functional exercises (push-ups) work on multiple muscle groups simultaneously while isometric exercises (planks) strengthen muscles. Plyometric exercises, however, aid in rapid muscle elongation for effective muscle strengthening (jump squat). These nine exercises should help you achieve your fitness goals.
1. Bodyweight Squats
The exercise strengthens the most powerful muscle group, i.e., the legs and the glutes. When squatting ensures your butt is pushed outwards while the thighs and the hips push your body outwards. If performed incorrectly, squats can take a toll on your knees. Your knees should move during the first half of the squat, leaving your hips to finish the movement.
Squats are particularly essential for expectant women as they help open up the pelvis. Holding the squatting position for 10-30 seconds also strengthens abdominal muscles and reduces back pain. But note, wearing the appropriate gear, e.g.,maternity tops when performing the exercise enhances blood flow and proper movement.
2. Glute Bridges
Squats can take a toll on the glute muscles leaving weak and unable to perform additional body movements on the lower body. This creates a muscular imbalance to the body, which can result in an injury. Glute bridges eliminate this effect by working on a specific muscle group.
This exercise works on all muscles located on the lower body, i.e., hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. There are many variations of this workout (walking lunges, split squat lunges, reverse lunges) so you can never get bored when performing it. Lastly, you can perform lunges after squatting or deadlifting.
4. Interval Training
The exercise involves alternating between long intervals of less intense activity and short bursts of intense activity. It is an excellent addition to any fitness regimen as it works the heart muscles. Interval training is also ideal for people working out to lose weight. It would help if you varied your pace throughout the workout to stimulate the aerobic system.
For example, if you are walking, you can incorporate short bursts of jogging into the brisk walks. People who are less fit can alternate leisure walks with short periods of fast walks. Other benefits of interval training include:
· It is more time-efficient as you can complete an entire workout within a short period
· No need for special equipment
· Improves aerobic capacity
5. Mountain Climbing
Just as its name, the exercise mimics how climbers mount steep peaks. The workout strengthens your core, arms, and legs as well as the back. If the exercise exerts excessive pressure on your wrists, lift the upper part of your body while placing your hands on an elevated place to minimize the weight placed on the arms.
The exercise works on the upper part of the body muscles, i.e., the shoulders, triceps and biceps, and the chest. Try performing different variations of the workout if the standard procedure is too challenging. You can complete the exercise using your knees to minimize the weight your hands need to lift. Also, you can place your feet on an elevated place to increase intensity.
7. Split Squat
It is a variation of the regular squat, and it usually works on the hamstring and quadriceps muscles of the legs. Your body goes from a half-kneeling position to a standing position while maintaining balance. Ensure your feet are firmly rooted on the surface during the entire movement. If you are finding it challenging to keep your body balanced, perform the exercise close to a wall to allow your hand to rest on the wall for support.
This exercise works on the core muscles because you need to hold the position for an extended period. It also builds strength on your upper body, lower back, and abdominal muscles at the same time. Planks are ideal for people with lower back pain. You can challenge yourself by placing your feet or hands up on an exercise ball as you hold the plank.
Burpees is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that will increase your heart rate and help burn calories. Burpees work on different muscle groups and the lower and upper body muscles. Be sure to wear proper footwear when performing this exercise. This is because they have a high impact on the knees.
Building a workout regimen around these exercises should help work on different muscle groups. The idea is to alternate between strength and resistance exercises to work on multiple muscle groups simultaneously.