Studies have shown a clear link between sleeping well and the body’s ability to protect itself against viral pathogens. This is due to the production and release of immune-boosting proteins, which only happens during deep sleep.
Defending ourselves and loved ones from Covid-19, the new coronavirus disease, is at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now. We’ve all heard about the importance of hand washing — but did you know that getting a good night’s sleep is also vitally important for boosting your immune system? Numerous studies have shown a clear link between stress, poor sleep and vulnerability to viral infections.
During sleep your body makes cytokines, a protein that targets viral infections, creating and co-ordinating a powerful immune response. Cytokines are produced and released during deep sleep, so it’s a double whammy if you don’t get enough. Lack of sleep will also suppress the production of infection-fighting antibodies, which are vital for combating viruses.
A recent study has also shown that after a poor night’s sleep your killer T-cells, whose job is to bind onto cells infected by viruses and destroy them, become less effective. Lack of sleep reduces their ability to latch onto infected cells.