Get Your Sleep for a Strong Immune System
We all know that sleep is important. This is a pretty obvious statement. If we go for too long without it, it can certainly catch up to us. And seeing as how most of us live in what is probably the most ‘sleep deprived state of existence’ that humans have ever seen (mostly having to do with the rise of technology and the role that business has played in making our lives busier than ever), it only makes sense that this would resonate with us.
We all value sleep. We probably all wish we could get more of it. We all wish that we could go to bed earlier each night, and stay in bed a little later each morning.
But did you know that sleep loss isn’t just something that makes us tired? As it turns out, it can seriously affect our health and well-being… and even our immune system relies on us getting enough rest!
Here is what you need to know.
The Role That Sleep Plays in Our Immune System Health
As it turns out, uninterrupted sleep is an absolute necessity if we want to stay truly ‘healthy.’ It is needed not only for the consolidation of memories within our brains, but also for muscle repair, healthy hormone regulation, and more.
The key word here, however, may be ‘uninterrupted.’ Yes, catching naps is great, and it is better than nothing—but our body also needs to remain asleep for longer periods of time to help us in different ways.
On a typical night of sleep, an individual is more likely to experience NREM sleep (NREM stands for non-rapid eye movement) between the hours of 11PM and 3AM.
This type of sleep is very important, because it helps our body to restore and heal our organs. But then, from 3AM to 7AM, we are more likely to experience REM sleep (REM stands for rapid eye movement)… which is also essential, but here is the part that a lot of people do not realize.
When you skip going to bed anywhere close to sundown, and instead, opt to stay up late… you are really putting yourself at an increased risk for missing out on a vital portion of your required NREM sleep. Even if you sleep-in late to try to make up for the lost rest, you might still not get caught up on the NREM sleep that is so vital to the body’s natural restoration processes.
Uninterrupted sleep is also very important for muscle repair, for the consolidation of memories in the brain, and for the regulation of hormones that control our appetite and growth. Our mood, our levels of anxiety, our ability to focus, our ability to concentrate, our social skills, our ability to make decisions… all of these are impacted by a lack of uninterrupted sleep.
And over time, growing more and more sleep-deprived can make the problem even worse.
Upsetting our body’s natural clock can also affect our immune system. We will also be more prone to weight gain, and will even be less able to control unhealthy psychological phenomena… such as obsessive thought patterns.
So next time you think about potentially staying up late and just sleeping-in the next morning, keep in mind that doing this too often can result in a lot of negative effects for our body. We need quality, uninterrupted sleep to function well. Our bodies need it, and so do our minds.
For best results, try going to bed and waking at consistent times. Following these types of healthy patterns will help to ensure that you get the kind of quality of rest that you both need and deserve.