How Does Quality Sleep Fight Illness and Injury?
To know about how quality sleep fights illness and injury, Talk to our team at Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/ Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
Table of Contents:
How does sleep impact the immune system?
How does sleep help you recover from illness?
When does the body repair itself during sleep?
How much faster does your body heal when sleeping?
How does quality sleep fight illness and injury?
It has been widely accepted that a good night’s sleep is essential to overall health, and that lack of sleep can lead to a number of illnesses. Most people know that sleep deprivation can cause fatigue and make it harder to concentrate, but what about the impact of insufficient sleep on illness? There are a number of studies that suggest a link between poor sleep and a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Although the exact mechanism by which poor sleep affects these diseases is still unknown, it is thought that insufficient sleep can lead to an increase in inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which have been linked to a number of health problems.
Sleep is inherently linked to the immune system; it is the time when the body repairs itself, fights off the infection, and recovers from damage. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can impair the body’s ability to repair itself and fight off infection. On the contrary, adequate sleep is linked to improved immune health and resistance to illness.
Sleep gives your body time to repair itself, which is much needed when sick. When a person gets sleepy, it forces them to slow down and give their body the time it needs to heal and recover. There are also certain immune processes that take place during sleep that can bolster the body’s ability to fight off an illness. If you get sleepy when you are feeling under the weather, it may be your body’s way of starting those processes. Fighting an illness also takes a lot of energy, which can make you feel tired and fatigued.
Sleep progresses through four distinct cycles; these cycles are divided into two categories: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM). There are three states of NREM sleep. The first stage of NREM is brief and consists of dozing off and preparing for sleep. In the second stage of NREM, the body and mind are sufficiently relaxed and begin to fall into a deep sleep. The third stage of NREM, also known as deep sleep, is where healing and repair take place. Growth hormone is released during this phase, and several reparative mechanisms kick into action. The forth cycle is REM sleep, during this phase your brain is still functioning as it would when you are awake however your muscles are temporarily paralyzed which is beneficial because it prevents you from acting out any dreams you may be having during this phase.
The data that is currently available on the topic of recovery times when sleeping versus when awake is conflicting. However, if our bodies heal themselves at the same rate during the day as they do at night, recovery would still be quicker at night in the majority of situations, as the body is at rest, allowing it to properly heal itself. There is an inherent risk of re-injury during the day, especially with musculoskeletal injuries; this risk is mitigated—but not eliminated—at night, as the brain releases chemicals to prevent muscle contractions during sleep.
Quality sleep allows the body sufficient time to heal and recover; during sleep, our immune systems create more T cells, which are vital in the fight against infection. Sleep also helps injuries recover as there is no or limited movement during sleep, allowing the body to heal without interference. Furthermore, quality sleep improves mental health, which has been proven to increase immune health and the ability to recover effectively from an injury.
Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders is dedicated to providing you with your sleep disorder-related needs. Call us today to book an appointment with our sleep team, or visit one of our locations!