Why do you keep getting sick…a lack of sleep? Immune System
Sleep and how it affects us
Last week we spoke about the effects of sleep (and lack of) on our brain. This week, we will focus on its effect on our immune system.
Our bodies are not made up of completely separate systems. We often make the mistake of thinking that because we have an issue with system “x” that this system, and this system alone is affected. This is not the case.
Its all one system
For example; during sleep, our immune system produces substances that help protect us and fight off infection. If you are sleep deprived, your body does not have the time to ‘replenish’ itself, and so is less prepared to fight off infections. End result, you get more sick.
To make matters worse, the fever response is better when we sleep, so if we are lacking in sleep, our fever response isn’t as effective as it should be, and so we won’t be able to mount as good a fight (and yes, fevers are actually a good thing in most cases) So we’re more likely to get sick, and take longer to recover! Not fun!
* A cute picture of a cat sleeping…
It even lowers vaccine effects
Now if lack of sleep only affected you fighting off the winter bugs, that would be bad enough, but studies have also shown that vaccines are less effective in people who suffer from lack of sleep. We do not heal as well (post surgery/ wounds etc) and we are also more at risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. And unfortunately, an extra cup of coffee won’t be always there!
Next week, why sleeping is good for our digestion!