Our topic today is how to boost your immune system with sleep. We are talking about sleep and its connection to how well our immune system works.
The immune system is complex and plays an important role in protecting our health from threats ranging from colds to cancer.
How To Boost Your Immune System By Sleeping
Sleep impacts the full range of how well our immune system works. This impact ranges from how likely you are to catch a cold to the risk of developing serious immune-mediated diseases like autoimmune disorders and cancer.
Let’s break this apart a little bit and look at the impact of sleep on immunity.
What do we know about sleep and our chances of catching an infection?
There have been many studies that suggest short sleep time and poor quality sleep increase one’s risk of catching a variety of infections.
One robust recent study compared the chances of developing a cold in people who sleep six or fewer hours per night to people who sleep seven or more hours.
After actually putting a cold Virus in each of the study subjects’ noses, they found more sleep reduces the chances of catching an infection. The study data showed that people who slept six or fewer hours per night were four times more likely to develop cold symptoms than those who slept seven or more hours.
Wow, four times greater chance of catching a cold when we sleep six hours or less. That’s a huge difference.
Of course, colds are no fun, but they’re not usually a big threat to our long-term health.
What about autoimmune diseases?
You mentioned increased risk for these serious diseases. What can you tell us about that?
Autoimmune diseases are a big group of disorders including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- And, Sjogren’s Syndrome
Unlike infections, the immune system doesn’t attack strong enough to kill off a virus or bacteria in autoimmune diseases.
Instead, the immune system overreacts and mistakenly attacks and damages many cells and organs within the body. An increasing number of studies are finding that poor sleep increases the risk of developing autoimmune diseases.
What can these studies tell us about how to boost your immune system?
Well, one study compared people who were newly diagnosed with a sleep disorder, not including obstructive sleep apnea, to people who did not have a sleep disorder. This sleep study wanted to see how many people in each group developed an autoimmune disease.
This was a huge study with nearly 85,000 people in each group.
The researchers found that people in the sleep disorder group were 50 % more likely to develop an autoimmune disorder during the following three years.
So, not enough sleep and poor quality sleep can weaken our immune system. We will catch colds more easily and can over-activate the immune system. This overreaction means that cells and organs are more likely to be attacked and damaged by our own immune system.
It sounds like sleep is good lifestyle medicine. It helps us restore and maintain healthy immune system functions.
Immune Boosting Sleep Diffuser Suggestions
An immune-boosting sleep diffuser dispenses essential oils into the air to help calm and relax you so you can sleep better.
The best essential oil for boosting immunity while you sleep is tea tree. It is:
You do not want to fall asleep with the diffuser running all night.
Once you are asleep and in a REM sleep pattern, you don’t need the diffuser anymore.
So, choose an immune-boosting sleep diffuser that has a timer.
Getting enough sleep is a key factor for how to improve our immune system and living a great life.
Attribution: Thanks to Lifestyle Facts on YouTube