Is sleep deprivation and weak immunity connected?

Lack of sleep affects us in a myriad of ways. But most of these, that is illnesses and diseases caused by lack of sleep, a point at one thing: the weaker immune system. 

Poor sleep patterns adversely affect our immune system causing us to get sick more and often. Before we go into the sleeping tips that will help you fight sleep deprivation in order to improve your immune system, let us find out more about how lack of sleep affects immunity. 

Relationship between sleep and cytokines 

Cytokines are proteins secreted by our body to fight infections and control inflammation. It is during sleep that these proteins are released. When we do not get the right amount and quality of sleep, our body makes fewer cytokines. As a result, our immunity or strength to fight diseases is lowered. 

For those who are suffering from terrible sleep debt (accumulated sleep due to chronic sleep deprivation), even medicines or vaccines may not help against diseases as the body lacks the strength to fight. 

How to prevent sleep deprivation

Apart from eating well, exercising regularly, and spending more time in nature, here are some other ways you can deal effectively with poor sleep. Please note that if despite following these tips, you find it difficult to establish a good sleep routine, then you might want to visit the doctor to look at the possibility of sleep disorders. 

  • Take naps 

Take an afternoon nap that lasts something between 15 and 25 minutes, nothing more nothing less. Taking a nap helps lower the adenosine levels in us, thus helping with daytime sleepiness. By keeping it limited to 20 minutes on average, you make sure that you do not hamper your night sleep which is crucial for better immunity. You might want to give caffeine nap, a new nap trend, a try. To do it, have a cup of coffee before taking your nap. By the time you wake up, the caffeine will kick in and will prevent the adenosine levels from rising, thus preventing further daytime sleepiness. 

  • Reduce screen time 

To sleep better at night, you might want to reduce your exposure to screens. The blue light from screens tricks our brain to assume that it is still daytime. As a result, the brain produces less melatonin than required, and therefore sleep is delayed. To prevent this, try to avoid electronic devices at least an hour before bed. 

  • Invest in a good mattress 

A good mattress is one that offers you the firmness and comfort you need for a good sleep. This mattress should not create pressure points in your body when you sleep. It should distribute your bodyweight uniformly so that you do not wake up with pain in your neck, shoulders, and hips. The mattress should also not bend your spine in an unnatural way thus causing back pain and postural defects. The mattress should be hypoallergenic, as a result of which, allergens will be kept at bay. Therefore, if you have a weak immune system, this mattress will not aggravate your allergies. Also, you would want to make sure that this mattress accommodates all kinds of sleep positions and provides motion separation. Where would you find a mattress like that? Right here

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