How important is sleep in our lives? When it comes to our overall health, it turns out that sleep is very important.
If you occasionally burn the candle at both ends to squeeze the most out of your day, sacrificing a few hours of shut-eye in the process, you may notice that you eventually come down with a cold. That’s because sleep is one of the main regulators of our immune system, and when we don’t get enough of it, we become more susceptible to illnesses like the common cold. This is just one of the many ways that lack of sleep can affect the immune system.
How Sleep Helps Our Immune System
“Sleep is when our body’s repair systems are at work” helping with psychological repair and energy conservation, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, a board-certified internist.
Sleep is also important because when we snooze, T cells, which are a major part of the body’s immune system response, are redistributed to our lymph nodes, as research published in Pflügers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology finds. The study found that in addition to T cell spreading, sleep can improve your immune system’s memory, helping to protect you better from antigens that may cause illness. Subjects in the study who had a good night’s sleep the night after getting a vaccination against hepatitis A had twice as many antibodies (which work to strengthen the immune system against these harmful antigens), produced.
How to Get Better Sleep
According to a 2014 study done by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 28 to 44 percent of people in the US get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. If you routinely fall into this category, it’s time to revamp your nighttime habits — especially with cold and flu season just around the corner. The more closely you stick to getting seven hours of sleep a night, the better your immune system will be at fighting against cold and flu germs.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends methods such as keeping your room cool (between 60°F to 67°F), and shutting off all electronics from your phone to your television as early as possible to relax and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. Exercise and steering clear of disruptive foods are two other methods to try.
If despite your best efforts to get those Zzzs, you still come down with a cold, make sure you get as much rest as possible, and treat those symptoms fast! Theraflu Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Hot Liquid Powder provides soothing, fast-acting relief from cough, nasal congestion, body aches, sore throat, and fever, helping you settle back into bed and give your body the sleep it needs.