Boosting Your Innate Immunity: What You Need To Know During COVID-19 Pandemic
Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.
Dean Emeritus University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer Lennar Corporation
United HomeCare® Board Member
Tired of COVID-19? You are not alone. But if you are not sick, it is because of your Innate Immunity. Your Acquired Immunity is the one that gets activated when you get infected or vaccinated and your immune system learns to attack specific microorganisms. The Innate Immunity protects you every day against COVID-19, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. Here is the most important way to help you boost your Innate Immunity: Sleep Hygiene. Adopt a regular sleep schedule and if you are not ready to sleep, use meditation, mindfulness, or other means to relax and fall asleep. Your tissues regenerate when you sleep. You’ve all experienced being tired, your brain is slow to respond, eyes are itching, stomach and body are aching. And if you sleep “like a baby” at night, you’ll wake up like a new person, slowness, itching and aching are all gone. What happened to you? This is a well-choreographed and pre-programmed (innate) process. It starts with low grade inflammation produced by challenged tissues (your skin, eyes, guts, brain, etc.), which is designed to recruit a “repair” response powered by your bone marrow cells, and other stem cell niches. Upon detecting the low-level inflammation signal, your stem cells wake up and multiply, migrate through the circulatory system of your body, and transform into toolboxes that can fix your tissues, or into killer cells that can destroy bugs like the one that causes COVID-19. This only happens when you sleep, a regenerative, unperturbed, complete sleep! And if regenerative sleep does not happen, then inflammation expands like a forest fire and can further damage your tissues. Patients who suffer most (worse symptoms) from COVID-19 are not necessarily those with the greatest virus load, instead, they are those with the worse inflammation, at least in part, because of lack of effective tissue repair with deep, regenerative sleep. So, remember sleep hygiene is the key to protect you from COVID-19.