Improve Your Immune System While Having a Good Night Sleep
Did you ever wake up in the morning feeling like a herd of bison romped down your tongue because you slept in late? Well, if that’s the case, we have positive news. You may have beefed up your immune system while you were ‘dead to the world’, and you should be okay after breakfast. We provide lifestyle information here. Consult a professional if you need medical advice
Bio-Directional Factors Improving Your Immune System While You Sleep
Sleeping habits and immune systems seem like odd couples, but one does affect the other. If we catch a virus, then the inflammatory response can mess with our sleep. However, an inflammatory reaction can also cause us to sleep longer while our immune system helps our bodies repair.
But we may suffer from chronic, low-grade inflammation causing swelling and tenderness if we don’t have enough sleep. Doctors encounter these symptoms when treating people with diabetes, hardening of arteries, and nerve degeneration leading to Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease.
Data Driving a Revolution in Sleep Science and Medicine
Sleep’s ability to restore energy, advance healing, and improve our immune system is a proven fact. It also helps our brains think fast while we remain physically healthier too.
New technology in the form of multi-modal sensors enables doctors to monitor sleep at deeper levels. This has generated big data allowing us to link sleep patterns to diseases and treatment of chronic conditions.
There’s loads of evidence proving the influence of co-morbidity on the survival rate from coronavirus infections. Having a pre-existing disease like hardening of arteries or diabetes may reduce our chances of survival.
However, nature is on our side with this one too. That’s because we could improve our immune system by chilling out in delicious sleep every night. Does that sound like a good idea? What an excellent excuse for lazing longer in bed!
How Much is Sufficient Sleep and How Do I Get It?
Seven to nine hours of sleep a night correlates with long life and a healthy heart. Teenagers may need as many as ten, which may be bad news for parents who pull blankets off in the mornings.
Some of us doze off quite easily and sleep through the night. Others may have an underlying condition preventing this. Speak to your doctor if you have a sleep problem. However, work-related stress and worries are for your own account. They are something you have to work through and sort out yourself.
Sleeping Better and Improving Your Immune System as Bonus
Our bodies produce proteins called cytokines while we sleep. Now cytokines are a deep subject we can only touch on briefly. Stuff you need to know includes:
- Cytokines are like molecular messengers between cells
- They trigger our responses to disease and infection
- In business-as-usual they support cellular processes
Cytokines are must-have-allies in the fight to stay healthy and live a longer life. We can turn their natural, organic power to our advantage by making sleep a priority again. When we rest our bodies we stabilize our mood, we improve our immune systems, and we are better able to fight off infections.
However, this is not a quick-fix system like popping a pill for every medical condition. It is a lifestyle change at the deepest level of our take on life.
Nature intends us to sleep while the sun is below the horizon, and wake at sunrise to do our work. Adjusting to this twenty-four-hour rhythm has many benefits as we discover when we make it a permanent change.
How Does This Work and How Long Does It Take?
Steady on! This is not ‘click of the button’ stuff. Distance between us means we can’t know the state of your sleeping patterns.
However, what we do know is there is ample evidence of healthy sleeping style benefits. We close with a short review of the biological processes that make this little miracle happen.
This is Not a New Science Scientists have known for over a decade how sleep and the circadian rhythms affect our immune systems. Production of cytokines and t-cells that actively destroy infections peak during early night-time sleep.
Whereas immune cell activity is highest during daytime hours after the ‘night shift’ has done its work. However, it takes time for this habit to embed, as we reset our timeclock and reprogram our long lasting immunological memory.
The Sleep-Wake Cycle
The sleep-wake cycle is the heart of the circadian system we are beginning to understand. It prepares us for the shifting demands of solar daytime, after nourishing our mental and bodily health while we sleep. The benefits we receive include:
- Higher state of physical readiness
- Faster, more effective brain power
- Healthier cardiovascular system
- Better body temperature regulation
- An improved immune response
Closing Thoughts and Ideas to Take Away
Scientists don’t fully understand how our immune system charges up at night while we are asleep, and attacks disease-causing pathogens during daytime hours. However, we do have a natural tendency towards more sleep when we are ill, and there’s a hint from nature in that.
We could improve our immune system by enjoying a good night’s sleep, every night for the rest of our lives. This is a natural thing our parents were programmed to do, as our bodies have been reminding us for a while.
The Covid-19 situation reminds us how we are a trinity of body, mind and spirit. A blow to one is a blow to all. Let’s allow a good sleep to rest us up, and strengthen us for tomorrow.