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Sleep & Oxygen Blog

How Quality Sleep Can Boost Your Immunity During COVID

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - SleepTalk this month
Sleep better during COVID-19 pandemic

How a good night’s sleep can boost your immune system during the COVID era

It’s well known that 7-8 hours of sleep every night for an adult is critical for overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that getting enough zzz’s can actually help boost your immune system?1.  On the flip side, lack of sleep can actually have an adverse effect on the body’s ability to defend itself against pathogens and increase the likelihood of you getting sick after being exposed to a virus.

What are Cytokines?

“The term "cytokine" is derived from a combination of two Greek words - "cyto" meaning cell and "kinos" meaning movement.”2.  Although they serve a number of different supportive functions within the body – including the production of blood cells and the development, maintenance and repair of tissue - they can be both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory.3. 

Among the restorative functions that occur during your sleep, your body will increase the production of cytokines to help fight off an infection or virus.2

Can sleeping less make you unhealthy?

Studies as early as in the 1980s and onwards have concluded that lack of sleep weakens the immune system and affects the mechanisms that help us fight off diseases. In fact, it became evident that the effects of both; sleeping less than usual and low quality of sleep, was correlated to an increased risk of contracting flu and other respiratory viruses.4. 

Sleep apnea and the immune system

Since untreated sleep apnea leads to fragmented, poor quality of sleep, successfully treating your sleep apnea will help get you the sleep your body needs to help boost your immune system and fight off infections.

Practice these COVID-19 must do’s and stay healthy and safe:

  • Get your sleep
  • Avoid stress if you’re feeling an oncoming sickness, so you can give your body the maximum opportunity to heal itself
  • Wash your hands often. To protect others in your household from getting sick, lather up with soap and wash for at least 20 seconds (TIP: Sing the Happy Birthday song)
  • Wear a mask when in public spaces
  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay at home and contact your doctor immediately
  • Maintain the proper social distance - 6 feet apart when in public spaces

For more information about sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatment, check out our blogs:

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1.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757#
2.https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Cytokines.aspx
3.https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-cytokines-189894
4.Adverse effects of modest sleep restriction on sleepiness, performance, and inflammatory cytokines
 

Tags: CPAP therapy tips Sleep apnea Sleep hygiene