Immunity 4 MIN READ 195 VIEWS October 22, 2021

Why is good sleep important for your immune system?

good sleep
How is sleep linked to our immunity
How good sleep benefits the immune system
Home remedies for better sleep
The Bottom Line

Sleep is the body’s way of restoring itself and rejuvenating the cells. We often skip sleep or do not get good sleep at night, which might affect our bodies negatively. Weariness and drowsiness are some common insomnia symptoms of not getting a proper amount of sleep. The lack of sleep can also affect our immunity in a negative manner. Read on to know how good sleep is linked to our immunity and the best way to sleep for better immunity. 

How is sleep linked to our immunity? 

The recommendation of getting 7-8 hours of sleep is something that should not be taken lightly. When we go to sleep, our body goes into a state of rest and our body increases the production of a protective protein called cytokines, which are normally released during an infection or inflammation. Cytokines are responsible for tackling inflammation and infections in our body and help us in building a better immune response. Thus, when we get a good sleep, our immunity system actually gets stronger. Cytokines are responsible for creating immunity against harmful bacteria or viruses that enter our bodies. Skipping an ample amount of sleep weakens our immunity and creates vulnerability towards these foriegn invaders (bacteria/viruses). 

If we get a night of proper sleep, then it also helps control the stress hormone in our bodies, which is known as cortisol. Sleeping properly helps control the level of stress in our body and helps us stay relaxed and rejuvenated. Sleeping is thus a vital part of building our immunity in a natural way. 

How good sleep benefits the immune system?

  • When we sleep, the activity of the muscles slows down and this diverts more energy to the immune system to rejuvenate the body.
  • Healing takes place during sleep, especially when someone is ill or injured. Inflammation of the body as an immune response to fight any foreign particles occurs efficiently during our sleep. This is a process that does not happen unless we get a good amount of sleep. 
  • Melatonin, a natural sleep aid in our body, is produced at night and counteracts stress when we get a proper amount of sleep.
  • Sleep helps regulate the balance between the innate immunity of our body and strengthens our adaptive immunity. A good sleep, thus increases our chances of staying fit and healthy

Effects of getting improper sleep 

  1. Irritability
  2. Day fatigue
  3. A weakened immune system 
  4. Trouble in concentration 
  5. Weight gain 
  6. Sudden shifts in your mood 
  7. High blood pressure levels 
  8. Inadequate tissue recovery 

The best way to sleep can be aided if you try and follow certain practices of sleep hygiene.  

Home remedies for better sleep

You can follow these tips for better sleep to naturally aid your immune system to grow stronger. 

  • Restrict the consumption of caffeine at least 6 hours before your sleep. Caffeine is one of the major causes for sleeplessness. Consumption of coffee before bedtime can severely hamper your quality of sleep. 
  • Reduce the exposure to blue light as much as you can. However, Blue light exposure is difficult to reduce as we are constantly exposed to the light from our phones and computers. 
  • Maintain a sleep schedule that you follow every day. Following this sleeping schedule religiously can naturally help you fall asleep faster. A good sleep schedule is one of the greatest sleep hygiene practices. 
  • One of the best tips for better sleep is doing some amount of exercise daily. Daily exercise tires out the body and helps you fall asleep faster. Exercise is a natural sleep aid and adds to the fitness of your body when paired with good sleep. 
  • A vital practice for getting good sleep is to keep a dedicated space for sleeping. Avoid doing other work on the bed where you sleep. A dedicated sleeping space also signals your brain that you should fall asleep when you are there. 

If you are having trouble sleeping even if you are following all the right tips, you might have a sleeping disorder such as insomnia. Here are some common insomnia symptoms: 

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Broken sleep where you wake up in the middle of the night
  • Waking up earlier than you intend to
  • Feeling fatigued even after getting an adequate amount of sleep 
  • Drowsiness during the daytime
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty to focus on tasks during the day 
  • Anxiety regarding sleep 

In this case, you can try natural melatonin supplements to aid your sleep. If you are still having difficulties getting a good sleep, you should consult a doctor. 

The Bottom Line

 You can protect your body naturally in the best manner if you get an adequate amount of sleep. As sleep is linked to our immune system, getting proper rest is vital to keep yourself healthy. It can get difficult to accommodate an adequate amount of sleep with our busy schedules and increasing workload. However, skipping the extra hours of binge-watching or spending a night out, can truly benefit your body. Prioritise good sleep and try following the home remedies for good sleep to boost your immune system.

Read these next