How Sleep Affects Your Immune System
Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Wed 04/24/2019 - 09:00
It’s no secret that sleep plays an important role in your health. While getting more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skipping on a good night’s rest (seven to eight hours a night for adults) can adversely affect your immune system, leaving you susceptible to a cold, flu or other virus.
West Orange dentist and sleep specialist Dr. Ivan Stein explains what you need to know about sleep and your immune system in this blog post.
The Effect of Sleep on Your Immune System
When we sleep, our immune systems release cytokines, which are proteins that help promote sleep. When there is an infection or inflammation, and when we are under a lot of stress, the body releases more cytokines to regulate immunity and fight against infections and inflammation. Lack of sleep may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, the production of antibodies and infection-fighting cells decreases when we don’t get enough sleep.
Not only does lack of sleep put us at risk of colds and flus, it also increases the risk of serious long-term health problems. Research shows that long-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
For a good night’s rest (and healthier body), adults are advised to sleep seven to eight hours a night. They should not exceed more than nine or 10 hours a night. Teenagers should get nine to 10 hours of sleep while school-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
Of course, sleep isn’t the only factor that affects the immune system. Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly (i.e., at least 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week) are also essential for a healthy body and immune system.
If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during the night, you may suffer from a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. West Orange sleep specialist Dr. Stein has helped hundreds of men and women sleep better and live healthier by providing comprehensive treatment for sleep apnea. To discuss any sleep issues you may be experiencing, contact Dr. Stein and schedule a personal consultation. Call New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions at (855) WHY-SNORE or (855) 949-7667 today.