Shaky sleep, shaky immune system

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I am not one for a) doctors visits or b) taking antibiotics. I put a lot of trust in my body's natural defenses, I wash my hands and I reassure myself that most infections are viral and will pass with rest and symptomatic treatment.

But this year, living through our first winter with two children, has been a germ bath.

From vomiting, to colds, flu, more vomiting and now laryngitis it seems that a mother's body is a breeding ground for yucky stuff.

I saw the doctor for the first time since having my baby on Tuesday. He put me on a heap of meds including anti-biotics and booked me off work. He then said: "You're pretty healthy, other than pregnancy. This is the first time I have ever seen you sick. It's not surprising though... you haven't slept in what... 3, 4 years?"

You see folks, the culprit here is not poor diet, poor hygiene or increased exposure to's poor sleep!

The Journal of Immunology published research in 2004 titled: Sick and tired: does sleep have a vital role in the immune system? And the answer was a big YES. Even one night of poor sleep makes your body vulnerable to contracting all kinds of infections. Sleep is restorative and protective. It costs nothing but is worth so much.

So if you are feeling rather stretched this time of year, try and sneak in a few more hours of shut eye. I'll be showing my kids my sick note tonight. It says I'm booked off till Friday... pity they can't read.

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