Sleep Deprivation and the Immune System

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Sleep Deprivation and the Immune System

Sleep Deprivation and the Immune System

Posted on Monday, February 17th, 2020 at 6:43 pm    

Getting enough sleep at night isn’t only important for feeling productive and clear-headed during the day. There is also a link between sleep and your immune system, according to Diwakar Balachandran, MD, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Balachandran says studies show that sleep deprivation can make your T-cell count lower, thus making you more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. 

Additionally, according to John Park, MD, a pulmonologist who specializes in sleep medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., sleep deprivation also has negative impacts on your immune system in terms of vaccinations. Park says that if you are sleep deprived when getting a flu shot, for example, it takes your body longer to react to the vaccination. Your body produces fewer antibodies in reaction to vaccines when sleep-deprived, so you are still susceptible to getting the flu even if you got vaccinated. 

Lack of sleep also puts you at risk of severe adverse health conditions like:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat

How to get more sleep:

  • Doctors recommend abstaining from drinking caffeine in the afternoon and from consuming alcohol within six hours of your bedtime. 
  • Avoid taking naps during the day unless they are extremely short power naps. 
  • It also helps to stick to a normal sleep schedule and bedtime routine, such as reading a book or drinking herbal tea before bed. 
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark; it should be between 60-67 degrees and free of all light. 

However, if you suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea, you may need professional assistance to find a solution to your sleep problems. 

Contact the OSA Team at Silent Night Therapy 

If you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, we understand that this gets in the way or you living your best life. The sleep experts at Silent Night Therapy are here for you. Meet with us for a consultation so we can get to the source of your sleep problems and help you find a solution so you can get a good night’s sleep. Call us at (631) 983-2463 today.

 


Why an at-home sleep study is often better than in a lab

Posted on Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 8:10 pm    

If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, you may be considering participating in a sleep study to determine what your next treatment steps should be. The thought of sleeping in a lab is unsettling for many people, so they opt to never even do a sleep study. But recently, at-home sleep studies have become more common, making it easier for people to determine whether they have sleep apnea. 

What happens during an in-lab sleep study?

If you choose to go to a sleep center to conduct your sleep test, technicians will attach a number of tools to your body to measure different aspects of your sleep. Technicians will attach: 

  • Electrodes to your face and scalp to send electric messages to the measuring equipment
  • A belt around your chest to measure breathing
  • A sound probe to detect snoring
  • Pressure transducers on your nasal region to measure airflow
  • An oximeter probe on your finger to measure blood flow

Wearing this much technology can make it difficult to fall asleep when it is already uncomfortable to be doing your nightly routine in an unfamiliar environment. 

What happens during an in-home sleep study?

If you choose to do your sleep test at home, you can simply pick up your test at the office and return it when the test is over. Instead of the five measuring tools used in the lab, an in-home study will only use a belt, an oximeter probe, and an oral-nasal cannula. You simply do your normal nightly routine and attach all the equipment right before you go to bed. Doing it in the comfort of your own bed will make it easier for you to fall asleep, and might yield more accurate results because your sleep is more disrupted in a lab. Home studies are typically just as accurate as lab studies but are much more convenient and comfortable for the person being tested. 

Contact the OSA Team at Silent Night Therapy

If you have questions about sleep studies or suspect you might have sleep apnea, contact the team at Silent Night Therapy. You deserve a good night’s sleep, and we’ll be here to find the solution that will help you get it. Schedule your consultation with us by calling (631) 983-2463 or by filling out a contact form today.