Sleep yourself well!

We welcome a guest blog this week from Dave Gibson our resident sleep expert and specialist wellbeing coach.

When we fall ill, we instinctively want to sleep longer. That’s because we are designed to ‘sleep ourselves well’. In this way, our immune system stimulates us to sleep.

In fact, the relationship between sleep and immunity is bi-directional. We need sleep to have a healthy immune system, and a healthy immune system helps us sleep.

The impact of sleep loss on the immune system

When we lack sleep, all of the body’s systems become stressed and the chronic effect of this is to interfere with the optimal functioning of the immune system.

Sleep and vaccination

There have been a variety of studies over the years showing an association between sleep duration and vaccination response.

One recent study of the flu vaccine found that adults who had seven to nine hours of sleep for two days prior to having their jab, produced double the antibodies of those who were more sleep deprived.

The evidence is that the same applies to Covid-19 vaccination.

Sleep and cancer risk

Cancer is one of many illnesses which have been associated with lack of sleep. In one European study of 25,000 individuals, with those who reported sleeping six hours or fewer there was an association with increased cancer risk of 40% over people who slept for longer.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the optimal amount of sleep is seven hours or more.

Boosting your sleep

  • Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time, seven days a week
  • Accept your chronotype (i.e., whether you a night owl or a morning lark). This is your inherited sleep type and dictates whether you need to go to sleep later or earlier
  • Stop consuming all caffeine by lunchtime
  • Cut out alcohol and food about two hours before you intend to sleep and stop exercising about three hours beforehand
  • Get outside for some sunlight every day, preferably in the morning
  • Do some cardiovascular exercise every day
  • Try deep relaxation such as yoga or meditation – as even five minutes of these have been proven to increase deep sleep
  • Turn off your phone, tablet and laptop at least an hour before you intend to turn in and never use either in bed!

Want to know more? Search the range of resources on or get in touch and we’ll tell you about our specialist sleep coaching and workshops.

Sleep workshops

We cover:

  • The structure of sleep
  • How stress impacts on sleep
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • Dealing with broken sleep and insomnia
  • The links between diet, exercise and a good night’s sleep

To book us in to run a session for your business,  please contact us here.

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Registered address: 22 Village Square, Bramhall Centre, Bramhall,

Tel: 0800 048 8615


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