We all know how important sleep is to our health but at the moment we need our immune system working overtime. The immune system is particularly boosted during ‘slow wave sleep‘, the first and third night when we sleep deeply according to The Telegraph.
So, sleep could really help when it comes to COVID-19 as it could stave it off and also minimise the symptoms when it hits. The Telegraph says that ‘while it’s too early for any studies to have been done on the effects of sleep on this particular coronavirus (Covid-19), in 2015 researchers in the US deliberately infected 164 volunteers with the rhinovirus (common cold). They found that the people who slept less than six hours a night were four times more likely to develop cold symptoms than the ones who slept for seven hours or more.’
When you are asleep your body builds up energy, fixing and repairing but the immune system is particularly boosted during ‘slow wave sleep’, the first and third of the night when we sleep deeply when your body can make infection-fighting cells and proteins called antibodies that help defend against illness. Your body releases certain proteins that help the immune system called cytokines, only during sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can also make you more likely to catch viruses or germs.
Healthline added ‘Numerous studies have reported the benefits of a good night’s sleep, and now researchers from Germany have found that sound sleep improves immune cells known as T cells.
“T cells are a type of… immune cells that fight against intracellular pathogens, for example virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells,” Stoyan Dimitrov, PhD, a researcher at the University of Tübingen and an author of the study, told Healthline.
Kimberley Hardin, MD, director of the sleep medicine fellowship program at the University of California Davis, says many people take good sleep for granted.
“People underestimate the importance of sleep, and less than seven hours per night on a regular basis has negative effects. It essentially creates a fight-or-flight state, with increased stress hormones and release of adrenaline,” she told Healthline.
So, rest up everyone, if you can’t get those hours in at night then try resting in the day even if it’s outside in the sunshine. Just get as many zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as possible.