Importance and Relationship Between Sleep and Immunity
Sleep! The time we all wait for, after a long, hard, tiring and impossible day. We work and wait to get home so that we can sleep….no? You may say ‘Yes’ or a ‘big No’ but you just can’t deny the negative impact on health from sleep deprivation and the need for a night of sound sleep. Studies and researchers have long suggested the need for sleep and also told us just how cruel one could be to his body and overall wellbeing if he refuses to sleep. In a new research it was found out that sleep and immunity are directly related. It means if you have a sound sleeping schedule then there is a good chance that your immunity is working efficiently and vice versa. It was found that a good sleep promotes the development of T cells.
They are the kind of cells which makes up a good part of your immune system which helps in fighting against many diseases like various flu, HIV, cancer, etc. So if you are not sleeping well, then you are increasing the chances of getting infected from one of these diseases and also decreasing the efficiency of T cells.
Sleep and Immunity
Why is being sleep deprived is bad?
Before the invention of the light bulb, people used to sleep for around 10 hours. Yes! 10 hours and this includes working adults too. Then the lightbulb was introduced, and it brought a change in the sleeping pattern. It reduced the sleeping time up to 3-4 hours. On the contrary the leaders at that time were against sleeping. Even Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, advocated against sleeping.
But now almost all studies have suggested that if a person is not sleeping enough, then he is directly and indirectly inviting many diseases. And even though the benefits of a sound sleep have been known widely we still continue to ignore it.
I am going to quote some of the opinions of famous personalities on the importance of sleep. Have a look.
1. “Sleep is like anything else in the body, It’s a natural state and has to be taken care of to be healthy. Sleep should leave you feeling refreshed, not groggy and struggling. Realistic expectations are essential. And sleep changes as you age, so you may not feel as rested as you did when you were younger.” — Dr. Kimberly Hardin
2. “People underestimate the importance of sleep, and less than seven hours per night on a regular basis has negative effects. It essentially creates a fight-or-flight state, with increased stress hormones and release of adrenaline.” — Dr. Kimberly Hardin
3. “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I’m reborn.” –- Mahatma Gandhi
4. “Three meals plus bedtime make 4 sure blessings each day.” – Mason Cooley
5. “A night without dreams is like a cupcake without frosting.” – Anonymous
6. “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Thomas Dekker
7. “Sleep is the best meditation.” — Dalai Lama
8. “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.” — Carrie Snow
9. “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” — Homer
10. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” — Irish proverb
11. “Anyone can escape into sleep. We are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher’s the poet’s equal there.” — Emile M. Cioran
12. “Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.” — Robert A. Heinlein
Sleeping less or being sleep deprived has been known to increase the rate of mortality. And it has also been said that if a person is sleeping less than 7 hours a night on three consecutive nights, then the loss of sleep on that person’s body would be equal to one full night of sleep. So as you can see, sleeping soundly is not just about good or bad morals, it can actually prove to be fatal if not taken seriously.
Why are people not sleeping properly?
As globalization increases, the competition also increases. The necessity to produce more and more, the ability to work hard for continuous hours is the nature of the current demand. In order to grow and achieve more than already achieved, we as a society are heavily compromising with our health which will affect us quite severely. Other factors which are disturbing our sleep are longer screen times, night lights, binge watching movies, shows, series, etc., caffeine drinks, health issues, insomnia, stress, environment, etc.
How can we fight this?
For good night sleep, you will have to make some changes in your routine, daily life and even in your room settings. Like:
- Reduce screen time, and try not to operate any screened device, 3 hours prior to bed.
- Exercise religiously, you need to, it’s a must. It not only keeps the body in shape but also maintains hormonal balance.
- Eat more veggies: Eating healthy is the key to restore your body’s balance.
- Darken your room: Try to sleep in a dark room with no light. Also dim the lights a couple hours before sleep.
- Meditate: Calming your mind down before sleep is never a bad idea. It helps to fall asleep faster.
- Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Try to move away from snoring people and pets, they can be a real issue.
- Don’t eat too much at night time, it can also reduce the quality of sleep. Eat light before a couple hours to bed and nothing just before bed.
So these are some of the points that you can follow in order to make changes in your lifestyle. I am sure that they will help. As mentioned before sleep and immunity are interrelated. If one is disturbed, then it can disturb the other quite significantly. Lack of sleep for longer periods can result in mood swings, short memory or weak memory, hike in sugar levels of blood, tiredness, stress, silly mistakes, disturbed cognitive functions, hormonal imbalance, cancer etc. If we restore our work-life balance, we can avoid so many diseases which are self-induced. So what are you waiting for??? Grab your pillows, blankets and jump on the sweet cushion of bliss.
Hope it helps. Practice these steps and let us know in the comments your experience. We would love to hear from you.
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