Sigma Nutrition Radio - Meeta Singh, MD – Sleep, Immunity & Mental Health

Updated: May 18

Of late I have been a frequent listener of the Sigma Nutrition Radio podcast and it has been a delight. The host Danny Lennon, owner of Sigma Nutrition, presents weekly episodes 30-90 mins long with a wide range of guests. Offering the highest-quality conversations focused on evidence-based information on nutrition and health.


Episode #328 of Sigma Nutrition Radio features a discussion with Dr Meeta Singh on all things sleep.

Dr Meeta Singh is a board-certified sleep medicine doctor and is currently the service chief of the sleep medicine at the Henry Ford sleep laboratory in Michigan.


She did her training in psychiatry at the Mayo clinic and a sleep fellowship at the Henry Ford hospital. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as a psychiatrist and sleep medicine sub-specialist.


Talking points:


  • Why is sleep so crucial.

  • Impact of sleep on immune function.

  • Impact of sleep on psychological health.

  • Impact of stress and anxiety on sleep.

  • Use of alcohol, marijuana, CBD and sleep.

  • Strategies to get better sleep when anxious.

  • How routine or loss of routine impacts on sleep.


Highlights:


What really is sleep:

"It's important to understand what sleep is. So sleep is a normal reversible behavioural state in which there is disengagement from the environment as well as unresponsiveness to the environment. We spend a third of our lives sleeping and if sleep wasn't really serving an absolutely essential function, well, that would be a colossal waste of time and a major mistake from the evolutionary point of view, especially since we know how vulnerable we are because we are asleep." Meeta Singh

What does sleep do:

"Well, what does sleep do? One way to think about this is to think of sleep as being an active period in which important mental and physical restoration and reprocessing is occurring. Exactly what happens is still mysterious, but we are learning more and more." Meeta Singh
"Sleep plays an essential role in memory, in learning emotional balance. It's essential for cardiovascular health and weight management in diabetes and as well as immunity." Meeta Singh

You can't boost your immune system:

"The best thing you could do to maintain your immune system is really to adopt a healthy living strategies." Meeta Singh

Sleep deprivation and your immune system:

"If you don't get enough sleep, then that reduces the number of white blood cells lymphocytes monocytes, T cells, B cells, natural killer cells. T cells are immune cells and what they do is they recognise a virally infected cell and they then activate intemperance, which are a sticky part of a protein that allows them to attach and then kill infected cells." Meeta Singh

You can't boost your immune system:

"The best thing you could do to maintain your immune system is really to adopt a healthy living strategies." Meeta Singh

Sleep deprivation and your immune system:

"If you don't get enough sleep, then that reduces the number of white blood cells lymphocytes monocytes, T cells, B cells, natural killer cells. T cells are immune cells and what they do is they recognise a virally infected cell and they then activate intemperance, which are a sticky part of a protein that allows them to attach and then kill infected cells." Meeta Singh

Designated worry time:

"So there is a concept of designating a specific 'worry time', maybe in the afternoon, early evening, in which you actually sit down with a notebook or a laptop, in which you can you let yourself be with your fears. It's a time when you can either write or think or even talk to maybe a family member. Then when it's time for bed you can at least tell yourself that you've already done that worrying earlier in the evening." Meeta Singh
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