sleep and immune system

Lack of Sleep and your Immune System

admin_lde Sleep Apnea

sleep and immune systemErie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Sleep is critical for your health and well being. Immediately impacting your mental and physical capacities, sleep determines your mood, ability to concentrate, and energy levels throughout the day. Unfortunately, there are negative effects of not getting the rest your body needs, such as becoming more prone to sickness. Therefore, Dr. Albert Starr, a sleep apnea dentist in Erie, is sharing information about how a lack of sleep and immune system are directly connected.

How does proper sleep help my immune system?

Although you may be resting, your body is hard at work repairing damage and restoring your energy levels. One of the many activities that occur, your body produces proteins that fortify your immune system. The proteins are responsible for guarding against stress, inflammation, and neutralizing illnesses or viruses you may encounter throughout the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. Failing to consistently get the right amount of sleep each night could reduce the production of these critical proteins resulting in compromising your immune system and causing you to become sick more often. 

There is continuing medical research looking to establish a link between sleep deprivation and a slow functioning immune system. In 2017, a study conducted with 11 sets of identical twins at the University of Washington in Seattle by scientists at the Medicine Sleep Center uncovered when one of the twins was continuously sleep-deprived, they exhibited signs of increased inflammatory response and depressed immune system.

How does a sleep disorder contribute to my decreased immune response?

The American Sleep Association states that 50 to 70 million adults suffer from a sleep disorder. A breathing disorder while you sleep, like obstructive sleep apnea, could cause interruptions in your sleep cycle, resulting in a loss of sleep. The loss of sleep directly affects your immune system decreasing its effectiveness to fight off infections and illnesses.

Sleep apnea happens when there is an impediment in your airway, restricting airflow, causing breathing to pause dozens of times while sleeping. When your brain notices you have stopped breathing, it will awaken your body, reminding it to breathe again. As a severe medical condition, a sleep study doctor specializes in diagnosing sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. However, various treatments are available from our airway dentist in Erie, Dr. Starr. If the condition goes untreated or becomes worse, you could increase your risk of advanced health complications, such as diabetes, stroke, cardiac disease, and cancer.

How can I get more sleep?

Environmental factors, sleep disorders, or a lack of preparedness could be the reason for your body’s inability to get a good night’s rest. Environmental factors such as the temperature or brightness of your sleeping area could directly affect your body’s ability to fall asleep. For optimum conditions, adjust the temperature to reflect a cool 60 to 67 degrees and turn off any lights in the room emanating from the television. Also, put the screens away at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Instead, prepare your body for sleeping by listening to relaxing music or reading a book. By maintaining a consistent bedtime and reducing alcohol or caffeine consumption shortly before bedtime, you should experience some increased sleep.

Sleep Treatment in Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Tackling your day with little sleep can lead to difficulties concentrating, reduced motor skills, and poor decision making. Your body needs rest so it can function properly, including your immune system. Therefore, if you are having difficulties sleeping or think you may suffer from a sleep disorder, feel free to visit your sleep apnea dentists in Millcreek at Laser Dentistry of Erie by calling (814) 825-2615 or schedule an appointment online today.