How Sleep Affects Your Immune Health
We all know that sleep is important. Heck, the average human spends roughly a third of their life asleep. With our bodies built to require so much rest, it’s no wonder sleep has such a profound impact on our health. In fact, studies have shown it is equally as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise, each of the factors playing a role in keeping us healthy. Despite this information, our fast-paced society and lifestyles often lead to sleep being pushed to the backburner. Unfortunately, this can have a lasting effect on our health and specifically, our immunity. To shed light on the topic, we are sharing evidence-based learnings on the connection between sleep and immunity. Spoiler alert: it’s a tight-knit relationship!
An optimal amount of sleep on average for adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep per night. For teenagers, nine to ten hours of quality sleep is recommended. School-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep to adequately support a strong immune system. Long-term, poor sleep health increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.
Sleep is more important than ever right now, as our world is working tirelessly to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. According to Eric J. Olson, M.D. at the Mayo Clinic, “studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” In addition, lack of sleep is shown to cause a reduction in infection-fighting antibodies and cells, making it more difficult to fight off any infections or inflammation. For more information on Dr. Olson’s point of view, check out this article.
Interestingly enough, research also shows that a healthy gut and quality sleep go hand-in-hand. According to a study on the gut microbiome diversity and sleep physiology, it was shown that our sleep health and our gut’s microbiome diversity have a novel relationship, showing a positive correlation. Otherwise put, a healthy gut supports healthy sleep. We already know that digestive/gut health plays a key role in immunity – the reason we include 1 Billion CFUs of probiotics in all of our functional shots. This research further underscores the importance of maintaining both a healthy sleep schedule as well as a healthy gut as two keys to a strong immune system. For more information on the importance of probiotics, check out this blog post.
To stay healthy now, and in the long-run, it is vital to maintain good sleep health, getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night. This will help support a strong immune system, allowing it to protect us from oncoming health concerns. But, life happens, and we aren’t always able to get all seven to eight hours. Naps are a great way to help balance an offset sleep schedule, catching you back up to speed. A healthy nap should last no longer than 30 minutes, but can have a major impact on your health.
Our secret to a good night’s sleep? The newest addition to our line of probiotic shots: the Sleep shot, powered by California Poppy, lavender, and butterfly pea flower powder. Drift off to sleep with a Sleep shot, and get on your way to a good night’s immune-boosting sleep while also showing your gut some love. Sold in select stores. To find a retailer near you, visit our store finder here.