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.

 


The Importance of Sleep to Your Health

Posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2018 at 3:30 am    

The Importance of Sleep for Your Health

Are you a four-hours-and-a-pot-of-coffee-makes-me-all-good kind of sleeper? Or do you go to bed at a decent hour and toss and turn – or even get up for an hour or two – all night? Are you an “I-have-to-read-that text, tweet, or post right now!” kind of sleeper, with your sleep interrupted all night long? Or do you have to have at least nine hours of sleep to be able to function the next day?

No matter which one of these kinds of sleepers you are, it’s important to understand that good sleep and good health are related. New and more extensive research into the effects of sleep on health is revealing just how significantly our bodies are affected by how long we sleep and the quality of that sleep.

Sleep deprivation is a chronic problem in the western world. As soon as the Industrial Revolution enabled us to figure how to keep the lights on 24 hours a day and then gave us the bright idea of having people up and awake to work somewhere in that 24-hour period, our sleep habits and our sleep quality, especially in the United States, began to suffer. The “Technological Revolution” has just intensified the problem for many of us.

Sleep deprivation causes us to make mental errors in judgment. Some might be comparatively minor, such as locking in the keys in the car with the car running. Other mental mistakes in judgment are not so trivial: traffic accidents, industrial accidents, and medical errors that lead to disability or death.

The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are frightening. During sustained, quality sleep, work is going on in the brain to sweep out toxic proteins. This is the only time that our minds are sufficiently enough unoccupied for this cleaning to take place.

However, if we’re not getting that sustained and quality level of sleep, the toxic proteins don’t get removed. Instead, they gradually accumulate in the brain over decades. What toxic proteins do is kill healthy brain cells. Depending on the type of toxic protein, this cellular death may occur over the whole brain’s structure, or it may happen in a specific area of the brain.

However, when enough of these toxic proteins have accumulated in the brain, and enough cells have died, cognition becomes impaired and the active phase of dementia, whether it’s due to Lewy Body proteins, which is what the comedian Robin Williams had, or tau and beta-amyloid proteins, which cause the brain to shrink in size unilaterally, has begun.

You need to sleep well. At Silent Night Therapy, we are committed to ensuring that you get the best sleep of your life. No matter what’s keeping you awake at night, our team is committed to helping you consistently get a better night’s sleep. Call us for an appointment today at (631) 983-2463. Your brain’s health depends on it. Your life may depend on it too.