Some good reminders of the importance of stress and sleep in keeping one healthy, particularly how it affects the immune system, and in the case of stress, how the ongoing elevated effects of cortisol in reducing our body’s ability to fight disease. Quote:
… when you get stressed out and stop sleeping, or stop sleeping well, you get sick. (Think back to college, when you’d get a horrible flu or even pneumonia or mono, right after finals were over.) That probably doesn’t seem that concerning; we’ve dealt with the post-all-nighter flu all our lives. But this year has also seen convincing research that the body’s immune response is key to protecting us from serious disease, such as cancer, and that inflammation is a key precursor to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. In fact, ongoing research is underway to document the effects of stress and sleep loss on shortening lifespan.
John Coates’ The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (here) has a section that captures the longer-term effects of cortisol in more detail.
Of course, managing all the demands on our time in today’s hyper connected world makes this even more challenging than before, but the health impacts are serious.