Jon Duellman PT
Boost Your Immune System with SLEEP!
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
You probably have noticed from being sick in the past that your body demands sleep. You feel exhausted and perhaps sleep a large portion of your day. Sleep provides us with immune boosting power. Getting an adequate amount (7-9 hours) each night is extremely valuable to protecting ourselves from infection and warding off infection once present.
Dr. Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist and accomplished author, speaks to this topic.
“Sleep fights against infection and sickness by deploying all manner of weaponry within your immune arsenal…Reduce sleep ever for a single night, and that invisible suit of immune resilience is rudely stripped from your body.” Matthew Walker PhD
Sleep preventatively boosts our immune system. The less sleep an individual gets in the preceding weeks of exposure to something like the common cold, the more likely it was they will be infected. Poor sleep increases the chance of infection.
On a relevant note, the sleep over the previous few weeks before receiving a vaccine can also affect the odds of it being effective. This means if you have poor sleep leading up to receiving the vaccine, it is less likely to prevent future infection. Think about that next time you get your flu shot next year.
Also, a lack of sleep reduces the ability to relax and calm the body by allowing increased activation of our fight or flight reaction and increased chronic levels of inflammation.
To be clear, this does not mean that you should be sleeping 10+ hours daily to have maximal immune system function. It DOES mean that you should give yourself 7-9 hours of sleep opportunity to give yourself normal immune function.
There are many benefits of sleep and more in the immune system realm, but I thought it was ever relevant at this time. Please read Dr. Walker's book, Why We Sleep, it is amazing!
Please share your thoughts below. Are you sleeping about 8 hours nightly?
Walker, Matthew P. Why We Sleep : Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. New York, Ny, Scribner, An Imprint Of Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2018.