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Fight Coronavirus with Sleep - Part 10

Don Mackintosh Roger Gallant
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These days people are actively searching for ways to boost immunity but what if one of the best immunity boosters is to just stop and rest? Studies show it is, but certain sleep tips can give us even more benefits. In today's video, Dr. Roger Gallant, NEWSTART medical director, shares how to harness the power of rest for a stronger immune system.



  • April 2, 2020
    10:15 AM
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[DON MACKINTOSH] Hi, I’m Don Mackintosh, and we’re in a series designed to boost our immunity. ”Total Community Immunity” is what we’re talking about, and in the studio today is Dr. Roger Gallant. He is the medical director of the NEWSTART program here, so, well known to all the people who have gone through NEWSTART and into the community here as well. Welcome, Doctor, and we’re going to be talking today about rest.




[DON MACKINTOSH] Now, rest and immunity, this whole series is about increasing our immunity. What do we need to do in terms of rest that will increase our immunity?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] So, we need to work to get eight hours of sleep. Eight hours of sleep boosts our immunity and helps our bodies to be healthier. When we sleep, our bodies heal and repair themselves.


[DON MACKINTOSH] Okay, so we need that healing and actually protection from sleep. And what happens if we don’t get sleep to our immune systems?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] They say that research shows that if you lose about three hours of sleep, that actually decreases your immune function by about 50 percent.


[DON MACKINTOSH] Wow, that’s fascinating. I was listening to a report just the other day that says if you don’t sleep, that actually the T-killer cells can’t really hook on effectively to the viruses and get rid of them, so you need that sleep. Now, how much sleep are we talking?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] The recommendation is eight hours of sleep a night.


[DON MACKINTOSH] What if you’re sick, is it more?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] Yeah, absolutely, if you’re sick, you should get more. If you’re recovering from illness, like recovering from surgery or something like that, you need more. And younger people need more as well. You know, kids growing, in their growth spurt, all of that, need more sleep. But for adults, the recommendation is eight hours of sleep at night.


[DON MACKINTOSH] And that’s if you’re healthy.


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] That’s if you’re healthy.


[DON MACKINTOSH] But if you’re getting sick, if you’re right after a hydrotherapy treatment, or your getting over an infection, you need to sleep maybe more.


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] Absolutely.


[DON MACKINTOSH] In fact, they say that you need to stay in bed, many times, get some exercise, you know, don’t get a blood clot, but you need to get that rest when you’re sick.




[DON MACKINTOSH] Okay, so anything else about sleep?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] You know, they found that the deeper stages of sleep, stages 3 and 4, is when our brain rests and also when our bodies heal and repair. And we go into those deeper stages earlier and for longer periods when we go to bed earlier at night.


[DON MACKINTOSH] So, what are we talking, 7 o’clock, 6 o’clock?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] You could do that, but that may be an extreme. What they recommend is somewhere between maybe 9 o’clock, 8:30 and 10, somewhere in there, that you go to bed at that time, and you get better rest. You get better healing and repair, and then you wake up earlier as well. And when you wake up early, what am I going to suggest you do? Go for a walk early in the morning.


[DON MACKINTOSH] Okay, so you’re resting, maybe 9 o’clock, and you go to bed, you get that three hours before midnight. Some people say that the sleep before midnight is twice as good as afterwards.


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] That’s right. They actually have research that proves that because, what happens is, when you go to bed earlier, and there is nothing magical about midnight, there is no switch that gets flipped, but what they found is when you go to bed earlier you go into those deeper stages of stages three and four when your body heals and repairs. When you go to bed later, you have more REM sleep, and REM is a little harder on our bodies because our brains are active during REM, and they’re not as active during stage 3 and 4 sleep. And so, what happens is, the pulse rate increases, the respiratory rate increases. We get more blood pressure. We get more blood flow to our brains for them to be active, and it’s not as healing for our bodies.


[DON MACKINTOSH] So, I notice you have a light here, right behind you, probably just because we’re trying to have nice lighting here, but if you’re sleeping with the light on, is that going to help your immune system, or is it going to…?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] It’s not ideal. We want to go to sleep and sleep in the dark. You don’t want to leave the light on in the bathroom. You want to sleep in the dark. That helps our melatonin, which is crucial for sleep, and then in the morning, we want to get up early and go out for a walk and get some early light on our eyes. We don’t have to look at the sun, but just getting early light on our eyes switches from the melatonin at night to serotonin in the morning. And serotonin is our feel-good hormone. It makes our brains feel better.


[DON MACKINTOSH] Now, that research I saw recently as well says that serotonin and epinephrine and all those things that are usually our daytime chemicals, if they’re on at night, they don’t allow that T-killer cell to attach to the virus and kill it. So that’s why you have to have complete darkness when you’re sleeping. It increases your immunity. What about weekly rest? Anything to that?


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] Absolutely, getting rest one day a week, and the Bible tells us that the best day to do that is the seventh day of the week, is actually beneficial for us. It helps us to function, be more efficient, and it helps our bodies to be healthier.


[DON MACKINTOSH] We’ve learned a lot of things here about rest as it relates to immunity, and thank you, Dr. Gallant.


[DR. ROGER GALLANT] Thank you Pastor Mackintosh.


[DON MACKINTOSH] Watch this again. Make some notes because you don’t want to forget this. You’re going to go to bed at 9 o’clock. You want to fight off those viruses by making that good connection between your T-killer cells and those viruses. All these things are going to help you boost your immunity.


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