Adequate sleep can never be overemphasised. Your immune system is the first line of defense against infections. It ensures you remain healthy, even without taking any medications. However, busy lifestyles have made it impossible for people to get the sleep they need for good immunity. Pay attention to your body, and take the necessary steps to live a happy and healthy life.
5 Reasons why Adequate Sleep Is Important For Your Immune System
1. Adequate Sleep Helps Reduce Stress
There is a connection between sleep and stress. The more rest you get, the less stress you have and vice versa. People who go through plenty of stress daily tend to fall sick often. Lack of sleep affects immunity and makes you susceptible to diseases and infections.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to have a good night’s sleep. While you snooze off, your body attempts to slow down the activities of hormones like cortisol, which handles stress. While you’re asleep, you also don’t have to worry about life, career, family, money, and all those things. Scientists recommend at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night to get all the benefits of sleep. You also need to try sleeping and waking up around the same time every day, even on weekends. This way, you’ll teach your body to maintain a consistent sleep cycle that will help nourish your spirit and mind.
2. Production of Cytokines
Your immune system needs the services of specific proteins and hormones to function. One of such proteins is the cytokines. These are soluble proteins that act as chemical messengers during adaptive immunity. Almost all the cells taking part in immune response produce cytokines, so you know how important they are for fighting diseases.
Furthermore, your body produces more cytokines during sleep. If you skip sleeping for an extended period, you risk the low production of the protein. A small amount of cytokines means that your immune system won’t have the necessary weapons to fight diseases.
That is the reason why hospitals have bed spaces where patients will have to rest and sleep more than usual. Sleep creates the right condition for your body cells to manufacture essential antigens. Your body requires these chemicals for the proper functioning of the immune system. Also, lack of sleep can lead to increased risks of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and blood-related diseases. Complications due to these diseases will increase the workload on your immune system and make it more difficult to perform its primary duties.
3. Your Immune System Requires Plenty Of Energy
Like every activity in your life, including eating, working, exercising, and thinking, your immune system requires energy. During the day, most people are active, so there is not enough energy for your immune system to work. So, it waits for you to go to sleep at night, where it can have all the fuel it needs.
Moreover, your immune system needs energy for various activities. For example, to fight against fevers, it raises your body temperature, making it harder for pathogens to reproduce. An increase in temperature means an increase in metabolic rate, which requires plenty of energy to execute.
When your immune system is actively fighting diseases, it leaves a trail of damages to cells and tissues. Your immune system prioritizes body repairs, and the best time to do it is at night. Lack of sleep can also negatively affect the activities of T-cells, whose job is to kill infected cells before they cause further damage. Activities of T-cells require plenty of energy, and having a good night’s sleep remains the only way to provide them with the fuel they need to protect you from harm.
In addition to that, sleep doesn’t just energize your immune system; it also replenishes your entire body, including tissues and organs. More energy for your body means more power for your immune system to work effectively.
4. Without Adequate Sleep, Everything Else Fails
For many people, sleep is the only factor, in the requirements for having good health, that is dispensable. If you’re one such person, then you’re in an unfortunate situation. There is no replacement for sleep; if you don’t have enough of it, your immune system will suffer.
When you research how to improve immunity, you come across requirements like exercise, a balanced diet, and stress reduction. Experts also advise people to take sleep very seriously. However, many of us ignore this warning, and would instead cover up with other activities, especially exercise.
Furthermore, no matter how much you exercise, avoid stress, eat well, take your supplements, etc., your immunity will still suffer if you don’t sleep well. At some point, it will look like its working, but once your body experiences a severe pathogen attack, you fall ill. Develop the attitude of seeking for quality sleep and make it part of your daily goals.
5. Getting Better Sleep Requires Deliberate Effort
You can’t wish yourself to have a good sleep; you need to work for it. We live in a world with so much pressure to perform against the requirements of nature. You should know the human body is a product of thousands of years of evolution. Since that time, sleep has always been an integral part of our existence and survival.
Furthermore, if you’ve made up your mind to have a good sleep to boost your immunity, here are tips to help you succeed. First, you need to become conscious of your sleep deprivation. Also, you also must accept the need to improve sleep, to boost energy and immune power.
Stress can affect you, so make sure you avoid any activities that lead to stress. Avoid drinking alcohol late at night, and try to quit smoking. Nutrition also plays a significant role in sleep. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and green vegetables.
Consume enough food rich in vitamin B, like eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy. These types of food affect the hormone called melatonin, which is good for sleep. Avoid taking coffee and napping anything after 3 pm as it can affect your sleep cycle. Light exercise, like walking, swimming, and HIIT, is also suitable for better sleep. Make sure you get enough sunlight during the day.
Adequate sleep should never be underestimated. From this article, we have seen the importance of pretty good sleep. Sleep can help reduce levels of stress, minimize the risk of depression, sleep reduces stress, makes you more active, and improves your memory and even helps you lose weight. It is good to always have sufficient sleep.