At a recent BlogHer Health panel sponsored by Nature Made, Dr. Susan Mitmesser, VP of Science and Technology at Pharmavite, discussed how stress, sleep, and diet can impact your health. and how you can best meet your particular needs. Plus, she shared her expert tips for managing these critical areas of our health and filling the gaps in essential nutrients to achieve overall health.
The panel began with Dr. Mitmesser explaining how sleep, stress, and our immune system are all interconnected. “Our body systems don’t work in silos,” says Dr. Mitmesser, “and one of the interesting things about sleep is how it affects so many other body systems.” For example, when you can’t cope with stress, your sleep is disrupted. She further adds that sleep is when we replenish and repair and when you are not able to do this properly, it impacts your immune system.
Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how quickly you recover if you get sick. That said, it can be difficult to make your health a priority, especially with busy schedules. But as Dr. Mitmesser says, the first step to making it a priority is to recognize when your sleep schedule is off or stress levels are higher than normal and figure out what’s causing that shift.
She also suggested setting limits. For example, whether it’s exercising or going to the doctor, taking time for yourself is essential to regaining your health. Another tip was to take charge of your health. “Nobody knows your body better than you do,” says Dr. Mitmesser. “I always recommend people build a medical team around them with your goals and your primary health goal in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t change this as you get older or your health changes, because you’ll have to change your health team around you.
“I schedule my appointments in the morning before they’re picked up and if I’m not happy with the service, I go elsewhere,” says Dr. Mitmesser. “I really recommend that you do it because no one else will look after your health like you will.” But what exactly does this imply? For starters, you’ll want to start looking at your health holistically.
“I think of health and wellness as a three-legged stool – nutrition, exercise, and sleep,” says Dr. Mitmesser. “If one of them is under-prioritized or over-prioritized, the others are going to be out of balance. So I highly recommend that you look at your stools holistically and make sure they are not out of balance because they will impact other bodily systems whether you initially recognize them or not.
To watch the rest of the Women’s Wellbeing First panel, click on the video above.
This article was created by BlogHer for Nature Made.