Studies show that getting enough sleep can boost your immune system and enable your body to fight off infections and diseases. One study found that sound sleep improves immune cells known as T cells, which fight virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells. The immune-enhancing benefits of adequate sleep are particularly important at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sleep deprivation results in lower numbers of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. Studies show that people who have poor-quality sleep or don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also prolong recovery time from an illness. Long-term sleep deprivation also increases a person’s risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
For most adults, the optimal amount of sleep to bolster the immune system is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours while school-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
Consult your doctor for more information on how to get adequate sleep and strengthen your immune system.
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References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757#:~:text=During%20sleep%2C%20your%20immune%20system,production%20of%20these%20protective%20cytokines. Accessed 28 March 2021 https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-sleep-bolsters-your-immune-system. Accessed 28 March 2021 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#10.-Set-your-bedroom-temperature. Accessed 28 March 2021
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