Protect and Enhance Your Immunity

How Sleep Matters To Your Immune System

When it comes to your body’s health, it’s no secret that more sleep is good for you, both mentally and physically. There have been countless studies on the benefits of getting an increased amount of sleep every night. Even if just for another hour or two longer, that increased sleep can significantly improve your overall health. But what about your immune system? How does sleep affect your body’s response to viruses and bacteria? New studies are beginning to show that getting a good night’s sleep can affect a certain type of human body cell that is in charge of keeping you safe when it comes to illnesses.

So, what is the immunity cell that benefits from increased sleep?

Our bodies are equipped with a defense system composed of cells that battle against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. These defensive cells are called T Cells. According to a recent study, getting better quality, longer sleep can improve your T cells' ability to fight off infections. It was shown that hormones such as noradrenaline and adrenaline could stunt the ability of molecules associated with T Cell defense. When your body experiences quality sleep for the appropriate amount of time, naturally, the levels of stress hormones are reduced. When this happens, it allows your T Cells to ‘stick’ better to virus-overwhelmed cells and even cancer cells. It’s not only T-cells that help protect your body from sickness. Cytokines are also a crucial part of your defense and recovery system.

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What are Cytokines?

In order to keep yourself less vulnerable to a bad viral infection such as a cold or influenza, sleep plays another crucial role by producing Cytokines. So, what are they? Cytokines are a variation of protein produced in your body. They help attack inflammation and infections, which in turn cause your body’s immune system to engage. Skipping sleep to hang out with friends or to watch movies late into the night may seem like fun at the time, but in reality, it can greatly weaken your body's defense system. How, you might ask? Your body produces cytokines while you sleep. They are also released while you sleep. That’s why skipping out on sleep can be seriously hard on you. The worst part? Chronic lack of sleep can actually lead to vaccines becoming less potent. Your body won’t be able to react properly and create the immunity it needs, which is the entire point of getting vaccinated. Our advice? Take plenty of naps throughout the week and make sure you are aware of when you're going to bed and getting up each day. You want to ensure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day to keep your T Cells and Cytokines in top fighting form.

Stress can also affect your immunity

When we’re stressed out, we don’t feel good for a variety of reasons. A few of the most important factors in making you feel less-than-great are stress hormones. These hormones can be released a little or a lot throughout the day, depending on how our mind perceives whether or not it is in a stressful situation. While a little stress in our lives can be helpful to get us out of dangerous situations or perhaps to help with studying for a big test, long-term, chronic stress can cause damage across your body, including your immune system. Small amounts of stress hormones can stimulate a response in your immune system, and even help you avoid infections. Prolonged stress hormone release over days, weeks, and months can inhibit your immune system’s response. Contacting the common cold, influenza, and other viruses are also much more likely when your immune system is compromised. Even more shocking, chronic stress and stress hormone release greatly hinder your body’s ability to heal from an injury or recover from a sickness. Increase your immunity today!

Sleep, Immunity, and Stress - infographic

Stress physically affects much more than just immune response

It’s no secret that an overload of stress makes us feel bad. But it goes far beyond making you feel down in the dumps with your mood. Stress can cause painful headaches and make existing headaches even worse. If you suffer from migraines, stress can cause them to become more intense. Stress hormones can increase the production of acid in your stomach, leading to heartburn, or worsening existing heartburn. In addition to rapid breathing and your heart pounding, chronic stress can also damage your arteries, resulting in increased risk for a life-threatening heart attack. Perhaps two of the more shocking physical complications relating to chronic stress hormone release are erectile dysfunction and fertility issues. Stress gets in the way of properly achieving an erection, and in females can lead to missing or completely stopped periods. Conceiving a child also becomes more difficult when chronic stress is present. Gain a more tranquil mind today!

Chronic stress may lead to more serious mental health conditions

Feeling fatigued all the time? Not interested in sex? Feeling exhausted and having a low sex drive are some common symptoms that affect us when we are overwhelmed in the office or our personal lives. Insomnia is another major health issue that can arise for many of us when our stress hormone system has gone into overdrive. Insomnia makes it difficult for us to stay asleep and fall asleep as well. As noted earlier on this page, the effects of sleep deprivation are many, notably a major decrease in your body’s immune system effectiveness. One of the most potentially damaging effects of long-term stress and sleep deprivation is depression. For those with an underlying increased risk of depression or for those currently battling with depression, an increase in prolonged stress can greatly worsen these symptoms.  Depression is a much more serious condition than merely feeling down or low. When untreated, it can potentially become life-threatening. Lowering stress and increasing sleep is crucial to our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Keeping strong during times of high stress

Life is stressful. There are no two ways around it. How we deal with that stress is crucial and can make all the difference. There are several approaches to dealing with stress, but perhaps one of the simplest ways to by accepting reality. Accepting reality, you say? But isn’t that just telling me to ignore my feelings? Quite the opposite! It’s taking a good hard look at your surroundings and present situation and coming to grasp the difference between what you think things should be like, and what they actually are. This is easier said than done, but by controlling your thoughts and the negative paths they sometimes lead is key to accepting the way things are. Be mindful of the direction your mind wanders, and be sure to catch yourself when a negative thought pattern or spiral begins. You have the power to steer the course of where your mind takes you. Our Tranquility supplement can help.

Focus on what you can do now to relieve stress, and then do it!

One of the greatest things we can do for our stress hormone levels is to find a way to fight back, just as our immune systems tackle viral attacks. Find out what the source of your stress is, whether it be career-related, or something at home, and then formulate a plan to take on those negative stress hormones. Many of our bodies’ negative reactions to stress can actually be combated in part by maintaining a healthier diet with stress-reducing supplements.

Start sleeping better and living with reduced stress today.

We encourage you to take a look at all our health supplements and so you can start living healthier. Take a look at our Brain & Body Betterment products today!

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