Do you know that, because our bodies aren’t using energy to think and move around when we sleep, our cells devote their time cleaning up memories, mending torn muscle tissues, adjusting hormones, and beefing up our body defences?
Sleep versus Sickness
We keep on hearing health experts say that we should get enough sleep to boost our immune system. But what exactly does that mean? How does it work?
Our immune system is nature’s way to make our bodies resistant to germs that invade our cells and make us sick. The immune system is made mostly of lymphocytes, the natural killers of micro-organisms. These killers live inside our bodies and they get heated up when we are sleeping, looking and killing foreign organisms that enter the human body. In layman’s terms, we call the lymphocytes as the white blood cells.
Lymphocytes have the ability to detect mutant cells, bacteria, viruses, and other foreign organisms. They roam around the body looking for such, and they do so more actively when we are asleep. Once those foreigners come in contact with the white blood cells, the latter will release toxins that will blow up the former.
The thing is, if we don’t sleep well, the white blood cells’ activity can go down to as low as 50% of its normal working rate. Also, lack of sufficient sleep weakens our ability to adapt to certain environments that we don’t regularly get into. Our immune system has a memory, enabling it to produce anti-bodies that will fight off diseases which our bodies have encountered before. This is the reason why we say a person is “immune to disease.”
The Deep Sleep Correlation
We get a lot of deep sleep when we were younger. As we get older, however, our capacity to fall into deep sleep diminishes. This explains why the older a person, the less he or she is resistant to diseases – whether viral, bacterial, or lifestyle born.
Deep sleep is when our brain and most of our bodily functions are at rest. It is also the stage of sleep when the sensors of our immunity system are rapidly at work. The longer we sleep deeply, the better they can find and destroy foreign bodies.
Your Chances against CoViD-19
If you’ve been reading and hearing the news about CoViD-19, you may have observed that the majority of those debilitated by this new disease are senior citizens. This fact can be linked to what we earlier said about older individuals not getting much deep sleep.
We often hear the term “immuno-compromised” to refer to folks who have pre-existing conditions. Interestingly, people who lack sleep also have a weaker immune system compared to those who can sleep deeply for long periods.
The human body rejuvenates itself during sleep, as it washes away toxins and builds up more resistance to disease. We recommend getting that much needed DEEP SLEEP, especially during these times to protect yourself from the dreaded novel coronavirus – a.k.a. CoViD-18.
Burke, C. “Why sleep should be part of your coronavirus defence plan?” The House of Wellness.