Table of Contents
- How the immune system works
- Sleep & the immune system
- Sleep tips for a strong immune system
1. This is how the immune system works
In order to keep us healthy and efficient and to defy the many harmful influences, numerous immune cells are active inside us around the clock. Invading pathogens infect our cells by docking on their surface and using their own genetic information to 'reprogram' them to produce new viruses. When this process is complete, the infected cell dies and releases new viruses, which can then infect other cells. The so-called T cells (T lymphocytes), which are also known as “warriors of the immune system”, can recognize infected cells and switch them off early.
2. Sleep & the immune system
So that our T cells can work optimally, healthy sleep is extremely important. Especially in the deep sleep phases that occur more frequently at the beginning of our sleep, the natural number of defense cells in the body increases and the immune system works at full speed to render invading pathogens harmless. At the same time, numerous regeneration and detoxification processes take place, through which our cells are protected and harmful substances are broken down. Various studies prove that a lack of sleep for just three hours impairs the function of T cells and thus the effectiveness of our immune system.
“These results clearly indicate that our immune system is directly related to the length and quality of our sleep,” says Dr. Markus Dworak, smartsleep® CEO and former sleep researcher. So does the saying Sleep is the best medicine have a legitimate origin? Yes! “If you get enough good, restful sleep, you’re doing something good for your immune system. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is recommended.” Healthy and sufficiently long sleep supports the body in the fight against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. However, those who regularly don't sleep enough are significantly more susceptible to illnesses or infections.
3. Sleep tips for a strong immune system
Colds, corona or other nasty infections can quickly cause sleep problems, even though our bodies urgently need rest and recovery at that time. In order to still sleep sufficiently long and restfully, you should of course pay attention to good sleep hygiene overall. But other factors, such as our diet, also contribute significantly to developing a strong immune system while we sleep. With the following tips you can easily help promote healthy sleep and support the body's defenses as well as all other positive effects on health and the immune system.
#1 Maintain good sleep hygiene
A consistent sleep-wake rhythm and a suitable sleeping environment are important foundations for good sleep. Despite everyday stress, social obligations or rotating shifts, you should try to maintain a consistent sleep-wake rhythm and get up and go to bed at similar times. Changing bedtime too quickly or too often throws this rhythm out of balance, can have a negative impact on falling asleep and thus rob us of valuable minutes and hours of sleep. A dark and quiet bedroom with a room temperature between 16 °C and 18 °C is suitable for optimal rest and a restful sleep.
#2 Get enough exercise and be physically active
Regular exercise and sporting activity stimulate the metabolism in the brain and body. It is also important to consume enough daylight to maintain a healthy sleep-wake rhythm and not only make it easier to fall asleep in the evening, but also improve the quality of sleep overall. Then the body can regenerate optimally at night and the immune cells can do their important work undisturbed. However, it is important not to overload yourself acutely, as excessive physical exhaustion and overload disrupt sleep and tend to weaken the immune system.
#3 Vitamin-rich diet in the evening
Our eating habits have a direct influence on our sleep and immune system. "Vitamins, minerals and amino acids play an important supporting role as they control numerous physiological processes," says our CEO Dr. Markus Dworak, who has spent a long time studying the biochemical processes that occur during sleep. Certain nutrients can have a particularly positive effect on sleep behavior and also specifically support the functions of the immune system. These include, for example, vitamin A, vitamin B6 or vitamin C, various amino acids and minerals such as zinc and selenium.
In acute phases of illness or to generally strengthen your immune system, you can, in addition to a generally balanced diet, make sure to consume enough nutrients, especially in the evening, so that your body has all the important building blocks for a good immune defense. It can therefore make sense to take a suitable dietary supplement, especially before going to bed, in order to additionally support the body's immune processes.
Our recommendation: Our smartsleep® IMMUNE was specially designed to supply the body with the most important immune nutrients for sleep.
Sleep supports health and the immune system, because the activity of the immune cells increases with the duration of sleep
A regular sleep-wake rhythm and a quiet sleeping environment have a positive effect on falling asleep and promote restful sleep
Sport and exercise support sleep, boost metabolism and promote an active immune system
Greetings and stay healthy!