Can Lack of Sleep Cause Flu-Like Symptoms?

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms and are worried about the cause, then we’d like to help. Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders understands sleep very well. We also know how to help you sleep better which can actually boost your immune system. Read on to learn more or reach out to us at our clinic today.

Can Lack of Sleep Cause Flu-Like Symptoms?

So can lack of sleep cause flu-like symptoms?

A lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses like the flu. Research has shown that a lack of sleep causes stress hormones to inhibit the effectiveness of T cells in the body. These cells are immune cells that help the body fight against cells infected by a virus, such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells.

Also, during sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines, and some of these cytokines need to increase when a person gets sick. A lack of sleep can affect the production of these cytokines, and this can have a significant effect on the immune system.

The bottom line is that if you’re lacking in sleep, your immune system won’t be as effective at preventing or fighting off viruses like the flu, so you might easily get the flu and suffer from its symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a lack of sleep?

There can be many symptoms and side effects of a lack of sleep. The superficial ones include excessive sleepiness, irritability, and daytime fatigue, but the major side effects can be much worse than that. A lack of sleep can compromise the immune system along with the central nervous system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and respiratory system.

All that can have extreme symptoms and consequences ranging from difficulty concentrating to microsleep, a condition that causes people to fall asleep randomly for seconds or even minutes during the daytime. This can be very dangerous, especially for people who drive during the day. A possible consequence of a compromised respiratory system is obstructive sleep apnea. This can affect sleep throughout the night and even lead to fatal health conditions like heart disease. Here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we’re fully capable of treating conditions like sleep apnea, as well as other conditions that can affect sleep, like TMJ (jaw joint) disorder.

How can I treat a sleep disorder and get better sleep?

For many patients, the underlying issue affecting their sleep is a condition like narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Some patients might not even know they have one of these conditions, so they could benefit from a sleep study which can determine whether the patients are suffering from a sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders require professional treatment, and we provide this here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For example, sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliance therapy, a method of treatment that uses a simple oral appliance to prevent the causes of sleep apnea in the first place. Other disorders that affect sleep, like TMJ disorder, can also be treated with oral appliance therapy.

How can you help me at your clinic?

At our clinic, we can help you in a number of ways and address the underlying issue affecting your sleep. We’d like to see you for a consultation, so if you’d like to come see us too, give us a call to book with us. If you’d prefer to, you can book a consultation with us online at our Appointments page. We have multiple locations throughout the U.S. in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.

At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we would be happy to hear from you for any reason, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help with your sleep. We hope to hear from you soon!