Sleep Well Not getting enough shut-eye can alter your immune response and put you at greater risk of catching a cold or the flu. People who are sleep deprived end up developing more allergies due to an increased release of histamine in the intestine and are more prone to chronic inflammation. What’s more, people who sleep less are actually more likely to become obese, develop diabetes, and die from all causes than well-rested individuals. What does this mean for you? According to a recent study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, jet lag, shift work, and even late nights staring at your tablet or smartphone may be tearing your immune system down and making you sick. That’s because the body’s internal clock is set for two 12-hour periods of light and darkness, and when this rhythm is thrown off, so is the immune system. Most people don’t realize that the inability to fall asleep is often due to days that are filled with too much stimulus. When it’s time for bed, your brain may have difficulty shutting down. Theanine and holy basil are great options to quiet your mind during the course of a hectic day. Another option is melatonin. Taken before bedtime, this natural hormone not only soothes you to sleep, it’s a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, enhances the response of T-helper cells, and regulates inflammation. Since your natural melatonin production slows as you age, a supplement might be just what’s needed for a good night’s sleep and a healthy immune system. BALANCE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM   11