Sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is a primary function for all human beings, much like drinking or eating. During sleep, the body is working hard to repair, process, and support things, including brain activity and overall physical health. Proper sleep also encourages growth and development for all children and teens.
What Affects Does Sleep Have on Immunity?
Cytokines are small proteins that are important to cell signaling. The immune system secretes cytokines and affects other cells within the body.
Without proper sleep, the body tends to make fewer cytokines. This protein is responsible for targeting infection and inflammation. Without adequate shut-eye, the immune response is suppressed because there are fewer cytokines to cause an effective immune reaction.
During influenza season, getting insufficient sleep can drastically increase your odds of being ill or remaining ill for longer. This is because infection-fighting antibodies are also suppressed when there is inadequate sleep.
Proper amounts of sleep are also linked to reducing the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart issues like cardiovascular disease.
How Much Sleep Do I Need and How Can I Improve my Sleeping Habits?
The following is the daily recommended amount of sleep per age group.
- Adults: 7-8 hours of sleep
- Teens: 10 hours of sleep.
- Children: Children are recommended to have 10 or more hours of sleep.
Sleep can be improved through various methods. You can avoid sleep disturbances by cutting back high-fat meals late in the day, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, cutting down on fluids late into the evening and avoiding caffeine.
Blue light emissions from cells phones, laptops, and T.V’s can throw off the bodies circadian rhythm, better known as the biological clock. When the circadian rhythm is thrown off, light can confuse the brain and result in the body, thinking it should remain awake.
The Bottom Line of Sleep and The Immune System
An immune system is a remarkable tool that can aid in the recovery of an illness, prevent additional illnesses, and promote overall health. Getting adequate amounts of sleep ensures that your immune system can function correctly. The effects that lack of sleep have on the immune system are detrimental, and steps to correct a sleep imbalance are crucial in restoring the immune system to optimal levels.