Sep 27 2015

The Connection between Sleep & your Immune System

Published by at 1:02 pm under Immune System

The cold truth behind sleep and illness.
Make sleep a priority to keep your immune system strong.

Don’t get enough sleep? You’ll catch a cold! At least that’s what we have always been told. We have always known intuitively that lack of sleep leads to the breakdown of our immune systems leaving us vulnerable to catching a cold virus. But now researchers have scientific data to prove it.   “…For the first time, a team of scientists reports that they have locked down the link experimentally, showing that sleep-deprived individuals are more than four times more likely to catch a cold than those who are well-rested…”1

Aric Prather, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies behaviors and their influence on health, set out to determine and document to what extent a good night’s sleep protects us. He and a group of colleagues observed 164 healthy men and women’s sleep patterns for one week with the help of sleep diaries and a wrist devise that recorded movements, to get to the bottom of this lack of sleep- catch a cold theory. 2*

After observing the participants for a week, they got to work on the second part of the experiment which involved spraying into each participants nose a live common cold virus. “We infected them with the cold virus,” Prather says, “then quarantined everybody and watched to see who got sick.” “What we found was that individuals who were sleeping the least were substantially more likely to develop a cold,” Prather says.2*

“…In order to officially register as “sick,” participants had to exhibit one “objective sign of illness” and one other immune response. They found that individuals who slept fewer than 5 hours a night were 4.5 times more likely to get sick than those who slept 7 hours or more. Those who slept 5 to 6 hours were 4.2 times more likely to get sick, but those who slept 6 to 7 hours per night were at no greater risk of catching the cold than those who slept 7 hours or more, suggesting that there’s a sleep threshold for potent immune defense…”1*

So how does this research tie in to gut health? There are two things to keep in mind. A healthy gut means a stronger immune system. So if your immune system is strong, you are better defended should sleep deprivation occur.

Secondly, a healthy gut is vital to proper serotonin production. Remember, 90% of our serotonin is produced in the gut. “…Serotonin is one of the most important brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, for regulating the sleep/wake cycle…”  “…Serotonin also is synthesized by the pineal gland to make melatonin, the hormone that is directly related to healthy sleep…”(3,4)*

So by having a healthy gut, sleep disruption from a biological standpoint should occur less frequently. Of course there are other factors that will affect your gut and your sleep such as eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and following the guidelines of turning off electronics, creating a dark and quiet atmosphere, and making your bedroom your sanctuary where you can relax.

I hope you have found this information helpful and a great reminder to get your sleep, eat right, exercise and take your BODY BIOTICS™ BIO IDENTICAL SBO PROBIOTICS CONSORTIA™ daily to keep your friendly microflora flourishing,! Your body will thank you and you will stay healthier for it.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

Resources:

  1. http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2015/09/lack-sleep-puts-you-higher-risk-colds-first-experimental-study-finds
  2. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/01/436385137/aim-for-at-least-7-hours-of-sleep-nightly-to-fend-off-a-cold
  3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/136959-how-does-serotonin-affect-sleep/
  4. http://www.caltech.edu/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495


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