Boost Your Immune System by Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Waking up after getting a good night's sleep has to rank among one of the best feelings in the world. Although it's an experience that's all too fleeing for many adults, it's nevertheless one we cherish.
Getting a good night's sleep could be the key not just to feeling better the next morning but to feeling better overall. When you sleep well, you're able to boost your immune system.
That correlation isn't just a theory.
Recent studies have authoritatively linked rest and health.
Scientific studies, such as this one published in 2012 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, have for some time shown the clear sleep-health link. These studies supply evidence proving both sleep and the circadian system exert important regulatory influences on the proper function of the immune system.
Of all the circadian systems, the sleep-wake cycle is the most important; and when it is functioning correctly, it helps the body meet the demands of each day to boost your immune system. When its rhythms are regularly interrupted, however, the body's systems all begin to suffer.
A disrupted circadian rhythm, in turn, impairs the body's natural ability to fight disease.
Chronic sleep loss is not only associated with an increase in inflammatory markers but also with immunodeficiency. The immune response to vaccination against influenza virus was diminished after 6 days of restricted sleep There is also evidence for an enhanced susceptibility to the common cold with poor sleep efficiency. (Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology)
Scientific studies such as these underscore the importance of seeking adequate rest regularly.
Getting a good night's rest is not just helpful advice. It is a bit of wisdom backed up by hard science.
A peek at the science behind studies such as the one mentioned in the section above clearly demonstrates the apparent link between sleep and health.
During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep (Mayo Clinic).
In other words, without adequate rest, your body lacks the building blocks it needs to fight infectious diseases—and that is just one of the short-term adverse effects. In the long term, people who run on a regular sleep deficit leave themselves susceptible to such conditions as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Such conditions, while treatable, have a long-term negative impact on length and quality of life.
While it is indeed possible to develop these conditions without suffering sleep loss, it's clear risk factors are inversely related to one's ability to enjoy a good night's sleep. That is, the less a person experiences regular rest, the higher their risk of developing other chronic conditions.
That's the bad news.
The good news, however, is the opposite is also true. Getting more rest can decrease risk factors.
We're not the only ones who say so.
Anecdotal evidence linking adequate rest to overall better health is also strong. Who among us hasn't found ourselves at a low point and thought, "I bet I'll feel better in the morning"? That's because a good night's sleep, as well as being therapeutic for the mind and soul, is also beneficial to the body—especially after an illness.
People say a good night's sleep can help them recover from the following types of issues:
- a bad breakup
- strenuous exercise
- emotional shock
- personal loss
- mild (non-clinical) anxiety
A good night's sleep isn't always the answer, of course. There are times at which it may be wise to consult with someone who knows a bit more about these things than we do.
Doctors Weigh In
If you know you need more sleep but cannot seem to get it; perhaps the time has come to seek the help of a medical professional.
You could be suffering from some form of insomnia.
While many people believe insomnia is brought on by mental or emotional issues, it can also come about from physical and environmental factors. Anything from an allergy to changes in medication to a recently developed sleep disorder may be to blame.
If you believe you may be struggling with insomnia but are not sure of the cause, you may find it helpful to ask yourself the following series of questions:
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
- Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
- Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
- Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
- Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
- Is your sleep environment quiet and comfortable?
- Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
Another reason to consult a doctor will be if you suspect your immune system is not doing its job even though you have already been getting enough sleep. In that case, a more profound problem could be at work.
Make sure to call your doctor and make an appointment at your earliest convenience.
We Can Help
Here at Nest Bedding, we are fully committed to helping you achieve the best night of sleep you can have.
While we can't solve all your medical problems (or, realistically, any of them), in this one way we can help: we can hook you up with a comfortable mattress to help promote restful slumber. For many people, that's where it all begins.
To do everything we can to help you meet your sleep goals, we employ a friendly staff trained to help you choose the best possible mattress to suit your particular sleep needs. If you would like to benefit from our professional expertise, feel free to stop by one of our showrooms. We would love to get to know you and answer your questions.
If you're not able to stop by in person, you can also feel free to contact us any time.
We look forward to serving you!