In the last couple of decades, sleep science has developed tremendously. This is because many studies have explained the importance of sleep and how it can save us from many diseases. Not to forget how our body reacts when we sleep and takes its care without us knowing. Also, the revelation about the importance of sleep for the immune system is very crucial. Our body runs and functions around the immune system, so it’s critical to have a robust immune system.
The immune system is vital to our overall health. It is fundamental to fighting against infections, healing wounds, and helping against fatal illnesses too. There are many techniques to strengthen your immune system. However, one of the easiest ways is to have a quality sleep at night. Immune system management and sleep are directly connected. For example, if you don’t sleep enough, then your immunity level lower. On the other hand, a viral infection causing immunity issues also affects your sleep cycle.
How Does Our Immune System Work?
The immune system is a complicated interface that runs throughout our body and creates multiple defense lines against potential illnesses and threats. There are two types of defenses, namely: adaptive immunity and innate immunity. Adaptive immunity, more commonly known as acquired immunity, has defenses that you develop over time against some specific kinds of health threats. Innate immunity contains multiple layers of protection against possible health threats.
There are many factors involved in creating the complexity of the immune system. White blood cells are one of the essential components of our immune system. Their primary job is to constantly identify, attack, and remove foreign pathogens from our bodies. The immune system reacts to such invaders immediately and in learned ways depending on their existence. This constant cycle helps us to live in the environment without any specific protection all the time.
The functioning of the immune system hangs in a delicate balance when it is optimal. For example, every time any injury arises, it’s the job immune system to trigger responses like swelling, redness, fatigue, pain, or fever. So although the immune system needs to stay strong and keep fighting foreign and internal illnesses, it needs to be regulated well, so the body is not always on alert or attack mode.
How Does Sleep Improve Immune System?
As stated above, sleep is crucial to strengthen the immune system and keep it running smoothly. When you sleep for high-quality hours, it enables your immune system to have a strong adaptive and innate immunity. This ensures optimal response to vaccines or shots and less spread of any allergic reaction.
It is essential to know that any sleep deprivation problems, including sleep apnea, or insomnia can cause a weaker immune system. Sleep problems can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system, causing you to be sick most of the time. If you are not ill, then you will at least suffer from minor health issues like cold or cough, most of the time.
The Connection Between Sleep and Innate & Adaptive Immunity
Your body only rests, truly, during sleep. Thus, it plays a crucial role in the overall development of your body and strengthens the immune system. It is a known fact that sleep contributes directly to making both innate and adaptive immunity stronger.
Studies suggest that some components of the immune system rev up during sleep at night. For example, the production of cytokines, which is associated with inflammation, increases during sleep. This production is not just associated with but also with circadian rhythm. The 24-hour internal clock of our body is called the circadian rhythm.
This inflammatory response helps with recovery when you are ill or injured. The innate and adaptive immunity are fortified so the body can repair wounds or fight against infection. Sometimes, even when you are not actively hurt, such kind of inflammation may occur. However, researchers say the cells and cytokines involved in this activity at night strengthen the adaptive immune system.
It is a known fact that sleep improves brain memory. Sleep can help us to focus better and remember things easily. Likewise, sleep also helps to strengthen the immune memory. While sleeping, this interaction between different immune system components increases its ability to recognize danger and react against it.
Scientists and experts are not sure how this happens only while we sleep, but they believe some factors which could be involved are:
- When we sleep, muscle activity is at a minimum, and our breathing also slows down, providing energy so the immune system can perform such critical tasks.
- The inflammation process we talked about above can cause physical and mental harm if we are awake. Thus, the body has evolved to a stage where these processes occur while we sleep at night.
- Melatonin is a sleep-promoting hormone produced only at night to counteract the stress that comes from inflammation. It helps the body have a deep sleep to work their way without disturbing you or getting disturbed by you.
This immune system activity that happens while we sleep has many benefits, but it is critical since it’s self-regulating. Thus, if your sleep time goes lower, the circadian rhythm in our body winds down the inflammation too. So, it’s essential to get high-quality sleep or enough hours so the immune system can perform its functions and keep us healthy.
How to Get High-Quality Sleep?
The best way, suggested by researchers and doctors, to sleep for long enough is to get a mattress that supports your body, provides optimal comfort, sleeping positions, and other quirks. To know what kind of mattress can help you the best, book a sleep expert at Mancini’s Sleepworld. Experts at our mattress store only have one vision- to provide you a comfortable sleep at night so you can be your best during the day. There are all kinds of mattresses available along with unbelievable discounts and offers.