Sleep and Your Immune System

Sleep and Your Immune System
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When it comes to your health, sleep plays an important role but many of us take it for granted by sleeping less than the recommended amount. Underestimating the importance of sleep can have negative effects on your general health, increase your risk for developing several major health problems, and significantly weaken your immune system.

Importance of Sleep

During your sleep, your immune system releases proteins known as cytokines which help promote healthy sleep and work with your T-Cells to rebuild and strengthen your immune system. These infection-fighting antibodies, cells, and protective proteins rely on sleep to rejuvenate your body’s defense system. Sleep deprivation can leave your body vulnerable to infection and affect your body’s ability to respond properly to any attack on your immune system.

Poor quality sleep or sleeping less than the recommended amount daily can result in long term health problems with your mood, memory, blood pressure, insulin resistance, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and more. Studies show that those who sleep less than five hours a night regularly often experience higher mortality rates than those who sleep the recommended amount consistently.

Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and well-rested. For teenagers, 9 to 10 hours will do, but children of school age often need a minimum of 10 hours depending on their age.

Improve Your Sleep

While more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from ever getting sick again, poor sleep habits are proven to adversely affect your immune system. To ensure your sleep success, we’ve listed several of our best sleep recommendations.

Make a sleep schedule and stick to it

Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day will help your body to adjust to a natural rhythm of your day. Try to follow a sleep schedule, even on weekends, so that your body can get its rest and help you function at your best.

Release energy

Studies show that regular exercise is not only good for your general health but can also improve your sleep quality enabling you to fall asleep easier and fall faster into a deep state of sleep.

Lights out

Avoid using electronics 30 minutes before bed as the bright lights that are emitted from your screens can stimulate your brain to awaken rather than wind down for the night.

Set the mood

Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable by setting the temperature a few degrees cooler if possible. Blackout curtains can help to block the early sunrises during spring and summer mornings.

More sleep doesn’t always mean better sleep as adults who sleep over 10 hours a day may actually experience poor sleep quality and develop other health problems as a side effect. It is important to practice smart stay-healthy strategies during this time and to make your health a priority. One way you can improve your health actively today is to ensure you and your loved ones get the right amount of sleep tonight and practice good sleep habits moving forward so your immune system is always ready to tackle any problems.

For more information on sleep and your immune system, contact the office of Dr. Jamila Battle office today.

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