Science experts say that you should take an average of 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep. If you fall asleep in less than 10 minutes of going to bed every day, you are probably sleep-deprived, while taking longer minutes could mean lack of comfort while sleeping, insomnia or other issues. Thus, if you are often finding it difficult to fall asleep, the first thing you might want to consider is buying a new mattress or bed to ensure comfort is provided.
Sleep is astonishingly mysterious and incredibly critical to your well-being and general health- so much such that researchers keep tracking and analyzing new facts and discoveries about sleep and rest every day. Therefore, for good health and an improved immune system, you need to have good sleep and optimum rest with little to no effects of sleep deprivation.
The truth is, no one is 100% sure about why people sleep. But we focus on the facts we do know, and one such fact states that good sleep is critical in improving your immune system and immune responses.
It’s undeniably proven that sleep plays a crucial role in your immune system’s ability to function well. In fact, various studies have accumulated consistent findings that sleep is indeed essential to the regulation of one’s adaptive immunity and inflammatory responses.
According to a research report, “Many immune functions display prominent rhythms in synchrony with the regular 24-h sleep–wake cycle…In contrast, undifferentiated or less differentiated cells like naïve and central memory T cells peak during the night, when the more slowly evolving adaptive immune response is initiated.”
Yet another study states that, “the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, and pro-inflammatory molecules prostaglandins inhibit the stickiness of a class of adhesion molecules called integrins, and because the levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and prostaglandins are low during sleep time, the stickiness of the integrins is stronger. This stickiness is important because in order for T cells to kill virus-infected cells or cancer cells, they need to get in direct contact with them, and the integrin stickiness is known to promote this contact.”
Since there’s so much research around it, it must be an indisputable fact that sleep is related to how your immune system functions.
It’s fascinating how much we overlook the effects and benefits of adequate sleep to our health and well-being. It is a psychological process that forms the basis and foundation for stable immunity, adaptive immunity and health. Your immune system is interlinked with the quality of your sleep. Below are some ways a good sleep can boost your immune system.
- Improves how immune cells function
The body has an army of cells, such as Phagocytes, T cells, B cells, NK cells and more, protecting its immunity and acting as a defense system against foreign antigens, bacteria, and viruses. Good sleep, with little or partial sleep deprivation, improves the efficiency and functionality of these cells.
For instance, NK cells help kill tumor cells, and studies show that the lack of sleep can, just for a single night, reduce the NK cell functionality up to 72%. As a result, you increase your risk of getting cancer cells. Similarly, insufficient sleep affects how T cells function to protect the body.
- Protects you from infections
Several studies have shown that poor-quality sleep increases chances of getting infectious diseases, including viral and bacterial infections. Additionally, insufficient sleep, the amount of hours per night, also affects how soon you recover from infections.
During sleep, the body’s immune system produces proteins called cytokines meant to increase during an infection or inflammation. Poor quality sleep can reduce the number of cytokines the immune system releases and the number of infection-fighting cells. This leaves your body susceptible and vulnerable to attack for diseases, viral infection and more. So you need sufficient sleep for your system to fight infections to ensure we remain healthy humans.
- Strengthens your heart
Heart problems such as heart attacks, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure result from several causes, including not getting enough sleep. Recent findings show that people who sleep less than six hours a night are at a 20% greater risk of heart attack than those who have six to nine hours of sleep.
Sleep loss can cause the body to produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which triggers the heart to function abnormally harder. A hearty sleep strengthens the heart for better health.
- Improves Learning and Memory
Your mind works hard when you are asleep. It helps process and link the memories formed during the day. While you sleep, your brain goes through a cycle of three major phases. These include the different sleep stages include light sleep, deep sleep and Rapid Eye Movement, also known as REM sleep. The first two phases help prepare the brain for optimum learning of new things the next day.
The deep sleep phase also stabilizes and processes memories. After that, the REM stage links related memories and decides what to keep and what not to keep. In addition, REM helps process emotional memories, making them less intense.
Poor sleep affects the hippocampus, a part of the brain which plays a critical role in making and retaining memories. Sleep loss can even lead to the brain creating false memories. Therefore, you need proper healthy sleep for the brain to achieve its optimum level of learning and memory.
- Prevents Weight Gain and Increases Exercise Performance
Getting sufficient sleep may help reduce calorie intake and overall appetite. This is because lack of enough sleep causes the body to produce ghrelin hormone, whose key role is to boost appetite while reducing the production of leptin hormone that signals you when you are full. Combining these two hormones leads to significant increases in appetite, cravings, hunger, and portion sizes. Good sleep plays a critical role in helping maintain these hormones at the correct levels, preventing you from gaining unnecessary weight.
Additionally, studies show that good quality sleep and good sleep habits are important for those who are involved with physical exercises and everyone who aims to maintain physical health attain great fitness goals.
The National Sleep Foundation recommended the following amount of sleep in normal circumstances.
65years and above
It is clear that there’s an intertwined relationship between sleep, sleep hygiene and immunity. You can also find out more on why a good night’s sleep is vital for heart health. Therefore, your first step should be to ensure your sleep environment is as perfect as it can be. If you are experiencing sleep problems in whatever form, or simply want to better your overall sleep experience, then No Bull can help. We are highly effective and reliable at helping people create a dream environment and better sleep with high-quality mattresses. Shop now or visit the nearest mattress store for a dreamy experience.
“Happiness is waking up, looking at the clock and finding that you still have two hours left to sleep.” — Charles M. Schulz, American Cartoonist. This is the perfect summary of what our previous customers are saying about us. Contact us for more information.