Consistently getting good sleep is imperative to a healthy, well-functioning immune system to defend ourselves from most viruses in the air. After all sleep is a natural immune booster for all ages. The healing properties of sleep as a natural aid to recover fast has been more sought than its role in prevention.
Sleep improves our immune cells, scientifically known as T cells, that fight against intracellular pathogens, such as flu, HIV, cancer cells and other threatening microorganisms. T Cells are white blood cells that play a critical part in the immune system’s response to viruses.
The symbiotic relationship between sleep and immune system has been known to mankind since time. Children were always asked to stay indoors and sleep in for maximum protection against any raging viruses in the air. In present times, there is even greater awareness on sleep and its intrinsic relationship to a strong system.
In the absence of any known cure for Coronavirus as it continues to spread to countries outside China, we can only safeguard ourselves with increased focus on building our strength to combat all unknown new strains of viruses.
While sleep alone cannot be our insurance, we do need to look at how closely it is related to our immunity.
How it works:
As per the Mayo clinic studies, people deprived of adequate or quality sleep are prone to get sick due to viral infections. This is because during sleep, cytokines, small secreted proteins is released by the body’s immune system, some of which help induce sleep. Now, when you are affected by inflammation or infection, or under stress, certain cytokines need to increase its production levels. When you’re deprived of sleep, there is a decrease in the rate of protective cytokines produced by the body. Besides, anti-bodies and cells that fight against infections are decreased during the period when you fall short of the right amount of sleep. This implies that the body in order to fight viral infections should definitely receive good sleep.
So, your body certainly needs sleep to fight infectious diseases.
Your immune system detects infections and accordingly combats it. According to The Sleep Doctor, “The Immune system is activated when it identifies toxins or antigens and some other foreign substances entering into the body. This triggers a response, where the immune system of the body produces antibodies or cells specially designed to fight the infection or germs. On the production of these anti-bodies, the body’s immune system will upkeep a file, and draws on it again if it ever has to experience the same issue; this is the reason why you generally fights chicken pox once in your lifetime.”
How much sleep needed?
The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is 7-8 hours of adequate sleep every night. Teenagers need 9-10 hours of quality sleep. Young children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
A good, deep sleep is key to building your body’s defense system.
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