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Rest Keeps You Healthy

Hello Everyone,

Yes, rest will keep you healthy. In a prior newsletters, we discussed how eating protein can keep you from getting a cold, and also about how sleeping can ease muscle pain. If you didn't get a chance to read them, I recommend them both. Today we will discuss how rest or simply getting enough sleep can keep you healthy.

If you have been in the office recenlty, you know that I let myself get a little run down and I ended up getting a mild case of shingles. Looking back, I can tell you exactly how I let myself get them, so I decided to write this newsletter about myself. I was fighting a mild cough and cold and still decided to try to stay up late to get some work done, and STILL try to wake up early to attempt some sort of exercise. I should have simply went to hed early and slept in to get extra rest to let myself heal from the cough and cold. By not getting enough rest, you are simply taxing your body more than you should. Your body has limited amounts of energy and that energy is used to move, think, and for white blood cells to fight off infection. Your body will only divide the evergy equally. It will not decide that it is sick and only give the energy to the white blood cells. It will still give energy to muscles to move and the brain to think, unless you decide to not move and not think, which is what happens when you sleep.

By not sleeping enough, I did not let my body use the energy it has efficiently to kill the viruses causing my cough and cold. The Shingles virus is the Herpes Zoster virus that causes chicken pox, and once you have it, you always have it. The virus lives dormint in large nerve clusters, and the bod's white blood cells keep them at bay and don't let them out. When the body is sick and using energy to fight off an infection, it does not have enough energy to keep the Shingles virus at bay and they then travel out of the nerve bundle and along the nerves and create "Shingles" where the nerves meet the skin. That is why you get them in "nerve patterns" in the face and along the torso. If I had just made myself get more rest and allowed the energy that my body had be used to fight off the infection AND keep the Shingles virus at bay, I would have never gotten them.

The thing to remember, if you are not feeling well, such as a cold and cough, get more rest and let your body use energy to heal itself and not that energy to exercise or go to Target.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Mckim


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