How Sleep Can Help Boost Immunity

How Sleep Can Help Boost Immunity

Catch Z’s, Not Disease: How Sleep Can Help Boost Immunity 

Never underestimate what eight hours of sleep can do for your body. Not only does it help reduce stress and anxiety, blood pressure, and help improve your brain function, sleep can also help boost your body’s immune system when it comes to fighting off infections.

No one enjoys getting sick, so be sure to factor in getting a good night’s sleep alongside washing your hands and getting plenty of vitamin C when it comes to protecting yourself from germs.

How It Works

When your body gets the amount of rest it’s supposed to, it’s making sure that your inflammation levels are stable and that our T cells are secreting something called cytokines (which is a type of protein produced and released during sleep that targets inflammation and infection) to protect you from illness.1.

A solid seven to eight hours of sleep ensures that your body is creating the appropriate number of cytokines so that come cold and flu season, your immune system is ready to fight. It’s important to note that other preventative measures (like the previously mentioned handwashing) should also be taken into consideration when protecting your overall health.

 A Chain Reaction

T cells play an integral role in a healthy immune system. Without them, our bodies wouldn’t be able to fight off infections. Studies have found that adults who get plenty of rest have a higher rate of activated T cells, essentially meaning the body is doing its job.2   Those who do not get the recommended amount of sleep showed lower levels of T cell functioning.

Slower functioning T cells means that the body’s response to creating the proteins that fight off infection decreases, thus making our bodies more vulnerable to viruses like the flu.

 How T Cells And Cytokines Function

Perhaps another reason to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to keep your immune system boosted is that T cells seem to perform different functions at different times of the day. Biological systems (like our bodies and immune systems) have a circadian rhythm that causes T cells to release more inflammatory cytokines at night, and more anti-inflammatory proteins during the day.4

This is why our bodies feel more tired when we do catch a cold or the flu: because our body is acting in overtime to control the inflammation, and shows why committing to getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep is crucial.

 Hydrate, Sleep, Repeat

It’s never too late to start making sure your body is in a great position to fight off illness come cold and flu season, and the solution can be easier than chugging vitamin C tablets. Studies have shown the countless benefits of sleep on your body, and it’s time to add “immune system booster” to the list.

Your body naturally needs sleep. Without it, a host of negative symptoms are ready to attack your immune system. Make sure you’re prepared with sleep in your arsenal.  

For a list of  incredibly effective ways to get a better night sleep, click here.... 

 Sources:

 

  1. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-sleep-bolsters-your-immune-system#The-importance-of-T-cells
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5768894/
  4. https://www.tuck.com/immune-system-and-sleep/

 

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