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National foundation stresses connection between sleep and your immune system

According to research by the National Sleep Foundation, more sleep means a bigger boost to your immune system.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — March is Sleep Awareness Month, and a healthy amount of sleep might be more important now than ever before. The return of Daylight Saving Time on March 14 will strip most of us of an hour of our precious snooze time, so finding a way to "make up" for that might be worth it - especially since we're still in the middle of a global pandemic. 

Right now, we all have much more than sleep on our minds, but experts say sleep could affect how well the COVID-19 vaccine might work on your body. 

RELATED: How to manage stress, anxiety during the pandemic

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep not only helps our immune system but can also help us create antibodies, which makes the COVID-19 vaccine more effective. Because of that, the NSF recommends getting a good night's sleep before and after getting the vaccine.

What constitutes a "good night's sleep? According to the foundation, it's defined as 7 to 9 hours for most adults and 7 to 8 hours for adults over 65. However, many of us do not get that much. The most recent survey showed that the average American scored a 76/100 on the foundation's sleep index score. 

The article published by the foundation recommended some tips for improving your sleep. 

Credit: H_Ko - stock.adobe.com

Tips range from a relaxing bedtime routine to exercise. The foundation also recommended turning off electronics before bed and trying to settle down at the same time every night.

Contact reporter Daniel Sechtin at dsechtin@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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