Have you ever found yourself getting sick after finishing your final exam or meeting a project deadline? This happen because your immune system has been significantly weakened from stress and lack of sleep. Proper rest and sleeping not only allows us to defend against oncoming illness but also provides the right balance for building immunities for future infections.
Sleeping uninterrupted allows our bodies to balance the levels of immune defenses. Whenever we interrupt that process, the first lines of defenses will be weaken and our ability to increase the inflammatory response to fight infection and the ability to recognize infected cells are significantly compromised.
Even with one hour of sleep loss each night for a week, our immune system can be easily suppressed by up to 44% of normal rates. If your sleep loss continues uncheck, as happens with many people with busy jobs, examination or kids, this deficit can jump to 97% decrease in antibody production after just one month of partial sleep loss. Many people was surprise when told that sleep actually profound such a difference to our immune function.
A doctor told once me that a young male tech employee came to consult him on how he could fit in more activities into his already packed job schedule, which had left insufficient time for his sleep. He noticed that he had been sick every month since moving into his new tech job but was not convinced that getting a little more sleep would significantly reduce these occurrences. Although he was having doubts, he was willing to try by getting enough sleep. After a few months when he return for his consultation review, he feedback that he had not been sick once increasing his sleep. This really exemplified this powerful connection between our sleep and our body's ability to stave off illness.
During our teenage years, acne is common and it is another infection that is cause by frequently misaligned sleep pattern. Getting enough sleep can boost our immune system and help decrease the duration and severity of outbreaks. One of my acupuncturist friend said, "When individual ask for recommendation for facials, I always tell them to get some sleep!” Our body requires a well-rested immune system to both effectively fight acne and keep our skin healthy.
Sleep is critical for repairing muscles and building up the body immune system. Sleeping is equally important in regulating our food intake. Our hunger in our bodies are normally regulated through the balance of two hormones which is ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin triggers our bodies and make us feel hungry and seek out nutrition. Once your stomach have eaten enough, your fat cells then release leptin to tell you to stop eating. Ghrelin increase hunger, while leptin lessens your hunger. When our body get enough sleep, we never have to worry about either because they sync with our circadian schedules.
Our body ability to regulate the incoming nutrients is also link to our sleep and circadian clock. Regular sleep stabilizes a large portion of our daily schedule and helps the pancreas coordinate the timing of our glucose and insulin responses. Glucose is the basic element of food and our bodies extract to fuel us during the day. Too much glucose production can lead to diabetes, so a well-rested pancreas will release insulin to balance out our blood sugar by encouraging cells to absorb glucose.
Sleep loss also triggers a similar response toward greater fat storage which under chronic conditions of modern-day life will lead to excessive fat storage and weight gain. The chronic stress caused by continued sleep loss will compound this effect by breaking down muscles to replenish blood glucose levels and saving long-term energy. Then this will quickly spiral downward because using muscle before fat increases the percentage of fat to muscle in your body and fat burns fewer calories than muscle. When left unchecked, this adds to the increase in calorie retention by converting more calories to fat, which burns fewer calories, leaving additional unused calories around to convert into fat.
Sleeping is important to our immune system as our body require a good rest as it need to self-repair itself after a day of active functioning. There are side effect if we do not get enough sleep and don't deprive yourself of that.
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