What’s Relaxing and Helps Your Immune System?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of virtually attending the 2022 Annual Institute of Functional Medicine conference. One of the lecturers, Matthew Walker Ph.D. impressed me about one of my favorite topics, Sleep. I enjoy sleep which is why I relish helping others get more sleep.

Some interesting facts that he mentioned – if a person sleeps only 4 hours for ONE night, there’s a 70% decrease in NK cells. NK cells are important as they help get rid of cancer cells in our body.

An orange cat sleeping on a white bed and covered with a white sheet.

Our immune system gets rid of cancer cells in our body so that cancer does not take a hold. So does sleep affect cancer risk? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC – 27 scientists from 16 countries) in 2019 classified night shift work as “probably carcinogenic to humans” . Meaning that working on the night shift probably causes cancer in people.

Sleep has quite a role on learning. Remember staying up to study for exams in school? Did you do better or worse on the exam? We need to sleep before learning and after learning to get those facts into our brain. There’s a 40% decrease in our ability to make new memories without sleep. So the best thing to do before an exam is to get a good night of sleep.

Some basic things to help your sleep – try to have a routine for your sleep every night. It should be calming, not involve electronics and not be something that you love doing. We don’t want to be revved up before we sleep, electronics can have blue light as well as EMF which can affect our sleep, and if we love what we are doing before sleep , we would probably continue doing that which would affect our sleep time.

I help people sleep in several ways. I work with sleep by helping the body produce the substances needed for sleep – serotonin and melatonin. People with low serotonin may be depressed/anxious and constipated as those functions are all related to serotonin. The nervous system may be involved so laser acupuncture or neural therapy may be helpful. Having a functional nervous system is always good.

If you would like help with sleep which I think is one of the pleasures of life, please make an appointment.

If you’re an existing patient, you can contact me via the Charm portal.

Dr. Richard Chen

To your health!

Dr. Richard Chen
Focused Wellness Author,
A New Way to Health: Wheel of Health
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