A lack of sleep can massively contribute to us feeling under the weather, and is one of the main causes of a low immune system. So how is the immune system strengthened by sleep? And why is sleep so important for waking up feeling healthier and happier?
How to boost your immune systemThe obvious ways to boost the immune system naturally include getting more exercise, eating more healthily and washing our hands frequently. But there’s never a guarantee that these are enough to reduce our vulnerability to illness. As it stands, there is no proven link between a person’s lifestyle and an enhanced immune system – but we do know that the importance of sleep for the immune system is crucial.
We live in a world where we’re constantly susceptible to bacteria and disease, and even picking up the common cold is a regular occurrence for most of us. But investing in your health and wellbeing is a great way to start if you want to give your immune system the upper hand.
Causes of a low immune systemWhile there’s no direct cause of a low immune system, there are several signs and symptoms you might experience if your immune system is weakened:
- You get frequent stomach cramps and pains
- You catch a cold or a cough more than twice per-year
- You feel more stressed than usual
- Your wounds – such as cuts or bruises – are slow to heal
- You feel more tired than usual or find yourself feeling fatigued throughout the day
Sleep and the immune system: how are they connected?If you tend to go to bed late and get up early, you’re bound to feel sluggish when the alarm goes off in the morning. That’s natural. But if you are giving yourself enough time to sleep for a full eight hours each night, and you’re still feeling exhausted, it could be that your immune system is trying to tell you something.
The importance of sleep for the immune system can’t be reiterated enough, and if you’re wondering how to boost your immune system, it all starts with better quality sleep. But how does sleep help your immune system?
Sleep can lower your blood pressureGetting plenty of good quality sleep where you’re not constantly tossing and turning during the night encourages a state of relaxation, keeping your blood pressure under control.
Sleep keeps your heart healthyA healthy relationship with your sleep gives you a better chance at a healthy heart. If you stick to a regular sleep pattern, it can help to lower the levels of stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system, which can reduce your chances of a heart condition.
Sleep helps your body combat illnessThe main connection between sleep and the immune system is that while you’re sleeping, your body is working hard to produce extra protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight off infection. That’s why – when you come down with a nasty cold or a bad case of the flu – it’s best to stay in bed and sleep it off if you can. You’re at your healthiest when you’re asleep!
A better quality sleep for a stronger immune systemUnderstanding the importance of sleep for the immune system is all well and good, but what can you do if you’re struggling to get a decent night’s sleep? Investing in your sleep and your bedroom environment is the first step in achieving a healthier sleep, which in turn will help to boost the immune system naturally.
If you find that a good sleep is difficult to come by, and you’re waking up frequently throughout the night, it could be down to a few things. Whether you suffer from allergy flare ups, hot flushes, sleep apnoea or you simply just can’t seem to drift off, you still deserve a peaceful sleep without interruptions.
Achieving a healthier sleeping pattern is easier said than done, but outside of the usual recommendations – such as setting yourself a bedtime routine or practising good sleep hygiene – one of the most simple ways to improve your quality of sleep is the bed you’re sleeping in.
If you haven’t yet considered switching up your bedding, now might be the time to do it. And if you’re sleeping on synthetic bedding – like polyester – every night, you’re missing out on all the benefits that come from natural fibres, such as wool.
Wool is naturally hypoallergenic, temperature regulating and 100% natural. Making the change to wool will instantly have a positive impact on allergy flare ups during the night and help to manage your temperature to ensure you’re not too hot or cold while you sleep. It’s also incredibly soft and always achieves that ‘just right’ level of cushioning, leaving you feeling cosy, comfy and relaxed. Wrapping yourself up in wool bedding is guaranteed to make a positive difference to your sleep.
For more information on how wool can enhance your sleep, head over to our Sleep Health & Advice hub.