In order to maintain good health, sleep is essential. When an individual is deprived of sleep for an extended period of time, health issues can follow, including an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and various diseases. Virus protection is also strengthened through consistent shut eye.
There have been many studies pointing to the connection between a healthy night’s sleep and immune system function. Sleep improves T cells, a kind of white blood cell in the body. Sometimes referred to as immune cells, T cells help to fight off viruses, such as the flu.
Importance of Getting Enough Sleep
Most experts agree everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep, every night. A minimum of seven hours is often advised to support a person’s mental and physical health. Too often, busy people do not prioritize sleep. When a person does not receive enough sleep, night after night, it increases stress hormones in the body and can have a negative impact on a person’s wellbeing.
Sleep changes over time, and people experience sleep differently at various times of life. For instance, a person may sleep longer and awake more refreshed when they are younger. There can be more trouble sleeping when a person reaches middle age, for example. But every age relies on sleep for optimum health.
Continual poor sleep, under five hours a night, can increase a person’s blood pressure. It can even contribute to cardiovascular disease, increased inflammation, and weight gain. Some experts suggest that not sleeping enough for three consecutive nights has the same impact on the body as losing out on a full night of rest, resulting in mood issues, poor judgement, memory lapses, and other issues.
Also, virus protection through good sleep habits has been illustrated in study after study. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reported individuals who are exposed to a cold virus and sleep under six hours a night are four times more likely to catch a cold than individuals who sleep for seven hours or more each night.
How to Promote Sleep and the Body’s Ability to Build Virus Protection
There are habits individuals can develop to promote healthy sleep. These include having a dark and comfortable bedroom, free of distractions such as devices and pets. Many also find it helpful to exercise during their waking hours and avoid caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime.
Some also experience a boost in their overall health, including their fitness and sleep, when they supplement a healthy diet with systemic enzymes.
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