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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Ryan

How Sleep Wildly Boosts the Immune System

A good night’s rest has always been the doctors’ orders.

Did you know there is substantial evidence that sleep boosts the immune system in the best way?

During this pandemic, it is essential we do everything we can to strengthen the immune system.

According to Healthline, around one-third of Americans are not getting quality sleep. A night of good sleep can assist in fighting off infection in the body. That is a perfect way to boost your immune system, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the most important ways that sleep boosts your immune system:

Bolster Your T Cells

T cells in your body help fight off infection. They activate integrins, an essential protein, that fights off invaders. Quality sleep charges these T cells to attack any virus or infection that may enter the body.

The T cells destroy infected cells and other pathogens. Studies show a positive correlation between people who sleep well and high T cell level functioning.

How Many Hours Do Adults Need?

In short, adults need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep to maintain a healthy immune system. Those who receive less than seven hours of sleep a night may have both short term and long term health consequences.

Less than five hours of sleep per night increases the chance of higher mortality. It also can affect:

· Blood sugar

· Memory

· Focus

· Mood

· Poor judgment

· Work performance

· Hand-eye coordination

The Sleep-Inflammation Connection

You may be unaware that lack of sleep promotes inflammation in the body. Studies show that sleep greatly enhances your immune system defenses. Sleep signals your immune cells to promote healthy sleep; thus, making you healthier.

Modern day technologies are found to be a large disruptor of sleep patterns. This promotes dysregulation of the inflammatory responses in addition to antiviral. Lack of sleep leads to illness and the body’s lack of ability to defeat it properly.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to a foreign invader. Proper sleep aids in combatting inflammation levels in the body and strengthens the immune response. The nervous system also plays a large role in sleep and the immune system connections.

How the Central Nervous System is Linked

The central nervous system is connected to both the sleep and immune system in various ways. The central nervous system can be affected by improper sleep. The CNS also typically influences the immune system. Therefore, if sleep is disrupted, the central nervous system is negatively impacted and lowers the immune response.

The individual elements of the body’s immune system exist within the brain, where the CNS is regulated. The CNS modulates influence of the immune response by secretion of hormones. It also secretes neurotransmitter influence over the immune system.

Lack of Sleep Consequences

It is imperative to receive seven hours of sleep a night to have a strong, healthy immune system. Poor sleep habits can also increase:

· Blood pressure

· Cortisol

· Weight gain

· Insulin resistance

· Cardiovascular disease

· Inflammation

· An early death

Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the body and mind. If an infection occurs, the likelihood of succumbing to further illness and uncomfortable symptoms increases. The body cannot fight infection without proper rest.

How To Aid Yourself in Proper Sleep

There are many ways to naturally induce sleep to boost your immune system. Here are some of the best natural ways to induce sleep for a better night’s rest:

Get Moving

Northwestern University’s Department of Neurobiology and Physiology suggests exercising four times a week. Their studies found that sleep quality went from “poor” to “good” in addition to feeling less depressed.

Develop a Sleep Schedule

As nice as it is to sleep and wake on a whim, it severely disrupts circadian rhythms and biological clocks. Establishing and stick with a sleep schedule helps establish an internal sleep/wake clock. It also reduces tossing and turning in an attempt to get to sleep.

Stop Smoking

Studies have found that smokers have a four times likelier chance of not getting restful sleep. Nicotine and nighttime withdrawals from the chemicals disrupt peaceful, rejuvenating sleep in addition to other deadly symptoms.

Eat Smarter

Diet plays a significant role in sleep aid. Drinking caffeine, alcohol and consuming high-sugar ingredients upset nighttime sleep cycles. Concurrently, the last meal of the day should be the lightest to alleviate indigestion and heartburn.

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