Sleep Deprivation Can Harm Your Immune System

By Stepy Kamei

Anytime you wake up feeling groggy and tired, you know you're in for a rough day. Feeling sleepy when you're trying to handle the responsibilities and tasks of a normal day can present a challenge in more ways than one. For instance, you probably already know about some of the health hazards which stem from even just one poor night's sleep, let alone a string of nights in which you're not sleeping well. A lack of sleep can impact the body negatively, resulting in moodiness, unstable blood sugar levels, and even weight gain. Out of the many ways in which not getting enough sleep can harm you, probably the most damaging aspect is its impact on your immune system

How Sleep Benefits the Immune System

When a person experiences a lack of proper sleep, many functions within their body may begin to breakdown. The immune system is especially vulnerable to this process of degradation. Sleep deprivation works to suppress the immune system, so it has a much harder time functioning properly. Even just one night of improper rest can have a negative effect on a person's immune system; you can imagine how serious these consequences can be for someone who is consistently unable to get proper sleep. 

Research has shown that people who get less than five hours of sleep each night tend to experience a 50 percent increase in the likelihood of getting sick from an infection or virus. This is a significant reason why health and sleep experts recommend that the average adult should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Research participants who did not achieve this much sleep within a 30-day period were much more likely to develop a cold, flu, or even pneumonia during that time. The figures were even worse for people who suffer from any sort of sleeping disorder, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. 

This is just one more crucial reason why we all need to be taking sleep seriously as an important part of our overall health and wellness. Focus on making sleep a priority in your life. Invest in blackout curtains and white noise machines, banish electronics from your bedroom, and consider practicing yoga or meditation to help prepare your body for sleep.

If you feel you're having significant trouble falling and staying asleep, and your health is suffering for it, don't hesitate to meet with your doctor as soon as you can. Chiropractic care can help with the central nervous system to help your body function more correctly, and may also improve your immune system.