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Can Lack of Sleep Affect your Immune System?

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Can sleep improve your immune system? YES! Getting a good night’s sleep has lots of benefits for your overall health. While catching some Z’s won't cure a sickness, not getting enough sleep could negatively affect your first line of defense: your immune system.

Here’s why:

Lack of sleep contributes to increased levels of anxiety and stress. A moderate amount of stress or good stress—the kind that makes you feel excited—can help you deal with difficulties or unexpected events. But when stress is excessive and continuous, it can weaken your immune system.

Sleep has a lot to do with certain immune functions and a healthy immune system. Research shows that only three nights without sleep affects your T cells. T cells help the body distinguish between friend and foe. They also work with natural killer cells to attack harmful invaders.

When you sleep, your body behaves differently than when you are awake. During this time, your body regenerates and repairs cells. That’s why you feel exhausted when you don’t get enough sleep, which may lead to health problems.

The bottom line:

The amount of sleep you need depends on several factors, including your age and lifestyle. For most adults, 7–8 hours of good sleep each night is more than enough. Teenagers need around 9–10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep. Remember: Sleep is important because it helps support a positive mood, improves concentration and productivity, reduces stress, and offers other benefits. Getting a good night’s sleep is an easy and effective way to boost your immune system.

1 https://healthcare-in-europe.com/en/news/how-sleep-strengthens-the-immune-system.html

2 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-happens-when-you-sleep

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