Melatonin, as a powerful regulator of our immune system, reduces inflammation and stimulates specific immune responses. In other words, every sleepless night or less than the recommended seven hours of sleep can be a consequence for our immunity.
If you are late every year preparing the body for the cold days and with countless germs in the warm and closed room air, do not allow this fall either.
Can we get sick at low temperatures? In short – no.
Reducing air temperatures from summer to low, autumn and winter temperatures, brings a large number of infections for us every year. One explanation for this is that, due to the cold weather and short days, we spend less and less time in the fresh air. We lock ourselves in a warm house and make it less ventilated and the air we breathe is dry.
On the other hand, low temperatures and high humidity create favorable conditions for the reproduction of viruses and bacteria. But, in addition, seasonal changes as well as any sudden change in weather have a significant impact on our immune system.
Here is what else happens to our body during periods of low temperature.
The amount of vitamin D in the body is low
Most of us are familiar with the fact that vitamin D affects the metabolism and health of our bones, but you may not be aware that it is also necessary for the proper functioning of our immune system.
For example, cells in our immune system (T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and antigen-presenting cells) contain vitamin D receptors, and studies have shown that decreasing the amount of vitamin D in the body increases the frequency of infections, especially respiratory infections. We take vitamin D with food, but, after exposure to UV B light, it is also produced by our skin (it is affected by climate, season, use of sunscreen and skin pigmentation).
In the winter months, we spend more time indoors, so we are not exposed to a limited amount of sunlight already. In addition, due to the low temperature, most of our skin is constantly covered and thus presents an additional barrier to our own vitamin D production.
Some studies show that production declines already begin in August, fall to minimum levels in November and remain so until March. Recent research from Queen Mary University in London has shown that vitamin D supplements can help prevent acute respiratory infections, such as colds.
Increased melatonin secretion
In addition to stimulating sleep, melatonin also plays an important role in maintaining good immunity. It is a hormone that is slowly produced in the glands of our brain. Its emissions are influenced by a cycle of daily light and dark changes, the measure of which also varies from season to season throughout the year. Short periods of daylight, as well as low air temperatures, are an incentive for melatonin production.
For this reason, with our limited outdoor movement, significantly more melatonin is secreted in winter than in summer. High levels of melatonin in the winter are a natural way for the body to defend itself at the most risky times for our health and its effects.
Melatonin, as a powerful regulator of our immune system, reduces inflammation and stimulates specific immune responses. In other words, every sleepless night or less than the recommended seven hours of sleep can result in our immunity.
Low temperatures encourage rhinovirus to multiply
Temperatures near zero are not the ideal environment for germs, but we have nasal temperatures in autumn and winter. Namely, at these times of the year, under the influence of low outside temperatures, the temperature of the primary part of our respiratory system drops significantly below our body temperature. Studies have shown that the optimum temperature for the reproduction of rhinoviruses is almost all cold causes below 37 িয় C, and the average temperature in our nostrils in winter is 33 িয় C. A team of Finnish experts confirmed that just 3 days of low temperatures and low humidity were enough to significantly increase the number of respiratory infections.
The key difference between a stable and uncompromising immune system is our lifestyle. Some important questions we can use to assess whether we care about the health and strength of our immune system, such as going to bed on time, eating a varied diet, and staying physically active.
Unfortunately, we often find it too late to devote more time and attention to our immune system. We usually remember that one step in going to bed or when we get sick. Even then, a healthy lifestyle is important for a speedy recovery, and timely treatment of symptoms is even more important. Autumn and winter respiratory diseases such as colds and flu, including a full nose, cough and sore throat, can cause headaches and transient muscle and joint pain.
7 tips to increase immunity naturally
However, prevention is always better than cure. To reduce the chances of infection and strengthen your immune system when returning to the school desk and office, consider what advice you can take.
1. Do not smoke / quit:
Tobacco smoking is one of the global health risks. For example, nicotine is not only a neurotoxin, it is also immunosuppressive. In other words, nicotine reduces the efficiency and responsiveness of the immune system.
2. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet:
Lack of iron, copper and folic acid as well as some micronutrients like vitamins A, B6, C and E can lead to low production of white blood cells, which is important for efficient and timely disease prevention.
3. Activate yourself physically:
During and after physical activity, the body releases anti-inflammatory molecules and increases the circulation of lymphocytes, which reduces the frequency of viral diseases, as well as the severity of symptoms.
4. Maintain a healthy weight:
Excess fat can damage the immune system. Fat cells are responsible for the migration of inflammatory proteins, which, when present in the optics, can reduce the sensitivity of the immune system to “infiltrators” over time.
5. Get enough sleep:
A good night’s sleep for at least seven hours is the key to maintaining adequate melatonin in the body, thus helping the normal functioning of the immune system.
6. Pay attention to hand hygiene:
Regular hand hygiene can reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal infections by 31% and the incidence of respiratory infections by 21%.
7. Stay away from stress:
Stress has a clear negative effect on the response to vaccines, as well as the development of cancer and autoimmune diseases from inflammation and healing.