How a lack of sleep affects the immune system

March 30, 2022 3 min read


  KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Adequate sleep has an important regulatory influence on cytokines — a type of protein involved in immune response.
  • Taking trusted vitamins and supplements can help support both a healthy immune system and a regular sleep schedule by aiding calm and relaxation. 

Effects of a lack of sleep on the immune system

You’ve probably found that when you are not feeling your best, you sleep more. Getting sufficient sleep supports the regulation of your body’s production of cell-signalling immune proteins called cytokines.

Your body both produces and releases cytokines while you snooze, so it’s a double-whammy if you decide to skimp on sleep

Not to mention that a lack of sleep can also contribute to stress and other health concerns.

 On the other hand, a good night’s sleep supports immune health, memory, a positive mood, energy, metabolism, recovery, and more

Note: Getting enough sleep is only part of supporting a healthy immune system. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking immune-supporting supplements is also important

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How much sleep do you actually need?

Sleep powers the mind and restores the body. But how much sleep do you need to get these benefits and keep your immune system healthy?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Babies, children, and teens need more rest to support their growth and development, and adults over 65 should also get seven to eight hours per night

However, it is essential to remember that the amount of sleep you need varies from person to person. Coexisting health issues, working a labour-intensive job, or irregular work hours may affect the amount of sleep you need. Pay attention to when you feel most well-rested, and try to repeat these habits. 

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How to get the best sleep possible 

Like anything, getting a good night’s sleep takes practice. Merely falling asleep at 3 am while watching television and then waking up at noon will not yield the benefits sleep has to offer. Instead, try these bedtime rituals:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time: Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day can create a rhythm for your body. Sleeping in even just a few extra hours one day can make it harder to fall asleep the following night and ultimately upset your internal clock.
  • Put away your screens at least one hour before bed: Giving your eyes a break from the harsh blue light of your phone, laptop, or television can help you fall asleep more quickly. Instead, try doing a calming activity before bed, like reading or light yoga.
  • Exercise regularly: Moving your body every day doesn’t just make you feel good, it can also improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise boosts the effects of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin, making it easier for you to fall asleep at the end of a long day.
  • Manage stress: Stress and feeling anxious can not only ruin your day, they can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Manage your stress by meditating, spending time with loved ones or take a supplement formulated to support calm and relaxation.

Disclaimer: 
Food supplements should not be used instead of a varied balanced diet & healthy lifestyle.

For references, click here


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