If you don’t sleep very well most nights, you may also struggle with your immunity. The link between them isn’t always obvious but it’s a super strong one.
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your immune system healthy and can be a factor in getting sick less often. It’s not a magic cure to avoid illness but together with other factors, it can make you less susceptible.
Let’s talk a little bit about why this is.
Poor sleep means your body doesn’t produce as many T-cells. This is hugely significant since they’re immune cells that help your body fight pathogens, including viruses.
When they come across an infected cell, they produce a type of protein called integrins, which attach to it and try to kill it. According to studies, integrins are activated to a much bigger extent when you sleep.
Stress hormones also have the potential to affect the activity of T-cells and they tend to be lower when you’re asleep. If you don’t sleep well and your stress hormones don’t drop much, studies suggest it can be another factor in the link between sleep and immunity.
Improving your sleep hygiene is a smart move for improving your immunity and helping your body to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other nasties.