Sleep & Immunity

Sleep, And how to be better at it!

We all do it, we all need it. Some of us are better at it than others.

For those of us that it evades, let's have a look at some tips to improve it.This is called Sleep Hygiene.

  • Poor sleep can result from stress and anxiety, as we all know. This needs to be dealt with, even writing down the issue before going to bed can really  help. It almost gets it out of your head before retiring to bed. Poor sleep can also become a HABIT, a bad habit built up over time. In turn, this means it will likely not be reversed in one night, It will take perserverance, but don't be discouraged!
  • Most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep each day. Now, remember, this INCLUDES any cat-naps, dozing, or any ohter sleep that happens during the day. The elderly often have huge sleep issues as they doze alot during the day and then spend the night up at all hours.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night. Get up at the same time each morning. A regular body clock will help your body regulate its sleep hormones and then it will be able to predict what you expect from it!
  • Stay active, whether that is walking, gardening, the gym, playing with the kids and grandies or even just leg or arm lifts from the couch if mobility is an issue. Everyone can do something. Being physically tired is a powerful trigger for the body to sleep to rest itself.
  • Limit 'Blue Light" , or light from devices or TV. Light such as this, tells our sleep hormone Melatonin, to turn OFF. Which means, it will be a tough job to get to sleep if the hormone levels are saying its not sleep time! Even though you think you are relaxing, your sleep timer is getting the opposite message!
  • Steer clear of Caffiene, especially late in the day. Or any other stimulants for that matter. Eating large amounts right before bed or working out right before bedtime can have the same effect as Stimulants also.
  • Funnily enough, there is value in the old wives tale of warm milk before bed! Herbal teas such as relaxation tea or Chamomile Tea can be very effective, as well as herbal remedies such as Valerian or Magnesium supplements.
  • Empty your bladder before bed, and make sure your bed is not too hot. Sleeping while hot can be a real pain, just think of the middle of summer! Heat can really interfere with sleep quality, often much more than cold can. Your body temperature naturally falls while sleeping, so keeping it too warm can really upset your sleep.
  • Associate sleep with your bed, If you don't fall asleep in a reasonable time, get up , do something boring, but in another room with dim lighting. Then once tired, give sleep another shot.
  • Relaxation should become part of your routine if sleep is an issue. In fact Sleep is so important, it should be a priority! Relaxation exercises will also ease anxiety, give you more energy and help you feel more in control. A relaxed body gives over to a relaxed mind.
  • If sleep is a problem for you, come in and have a chat or give us a call! No need to suffer in silence. Its really common.

Top 5 Tips to keep Under 5's Well This Winter

  1. Teach good Handwashing techniques, littlies also love being responsible for using hand sanitiser which can really make them feel important!
  2. Eat the Rainbow! Try to incorporate lots of good food into thier daily diet!  Here are some of our favouritees: Beef—it contains zinc, which is vital in the production of the white blood cells your child uses to destroy bacteria.    Fruits that contain vitamin C—oranges, kiwifruit, strawberries, and raspberries all contain a good amount of this vital vitamin.  Garlic—it contains allicin, a compound that fights bacteria and infection.  Yogurt that contains probiotics—probiotics keep the digestive system free from disease-causing germs. Much like your home requires extra energy to stay warm during the winter, your child’s body will require extra nutrients to fight viruses and infections when they do strike.
  3. Make sure your children and yourself are getting plenty of rest and quality sleep during the colder months. If your little ones (or yourself) are tired and rundown they will be more susceptible to colds and viruses
  4. Support thier immune systems if they need it, our favourites (and the ones Anna's son Blake (5) tells us are the best tasting!) include - Viralex Kids , Lipospheric Vitamin C sachetsNutralife Probiotica Daily Kids
  5. The health of your child’s immune system is largely dependant upon the integrity of their gut. Approximately 70-80% of immune function originates from our gut, so supporting it’s health is critical. Probiotics or Bone Broth heals and repairs the digestive system, whilst providing tiny bodies with all of the nourishment they need to stimulate strong immune responses.

Lorraine's Super Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup

This is one of my favourite soups to make during cold and flu season. Feel free to add any vegetables you prefer. Diced yams or winter squash are an excellent addition, so are finely chopped hot peppers.

YUMMO - it's up to you!

Tip: Use 16 cups of water for a Size 7 chicken or 12 cups of water for a 6 chicken.

Broth:1 whole organic chicken 16 cups water,1 medium onion, chopped. 3 celery stalks, chopped. 2 carrots, chopped. 4 to 5 shiitake mushrooms, chopped. 1 whole head garlic, cut in half cross-wise. 2 to 3 inches fresh ginger, cut into thin slices. 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns. 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped (optional) Dried Astralagus is an amazing addition to supercharge the Immunity Factor. Add as desired.
Soup: 1 medium onion, chopped. 3 carrots, sliced. 4 celery stalks, chopped. 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced. 1 large red bell pepper, chopped. 2 to 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger. 1 tablespoon sea salt. 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes. 4 to 5 cups sliced cabbage.1 cup chopped coriander ( contraversial , I know !!)
To start making the soup, add all ingredients for the broth into a stockpot, cover, and simmer for about 1 ½ to 2 hours on low heat.
Place a large colander over another large pot or large stainless steel bowl. Pour the broth through it to strain out the chicken and vegetables. Place the pot of broth back on the stove. Place the chicken onto a plate to cool. Bring the broth to a boil, add the all of the ingredients for the soup except the cabbage and coriander. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, pull all of the meat from the chicken and cut into smaller pieces. Add the chicken to the soup. Once the vegetables are tender, turn off the heat and add the chopped cabbage and coriander. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if desired.
 Makes about 12 servings ( or 6, if you eat like we do !! )


Ngatea Pharmacy

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