Sleep and Immune System | Sleep is Important for Our Immunity

by Shamsul
Sleep and Our Immunity
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Sleep and the immune system are linked and constantly communicate via the brain. Decreased or disrupted sleep has a direct negative impact on the ability of our immunity to deal with infections.

Therefore, quality sleep must be a priority for the proper functioning of our immunity, thanks to a better lifestyle and specific active ingredients in Nutra.

Many methods and products promise to “boost” your immunity. Beyond the fact that the term “booster” is a false friend when we talk about the immune system – the objective being that the latter functions rather optimally – there is a factor that we talk too little about and which is, however, of fundamental importance to have top immunity: sleep! A brief overview of what scientific research tells us on the subject.

A Close Link Between Brain and Our Immunity

The human brain and the immune system are in constant communication, and a disruption in one will influence the other. Nothing is more logical when we know that the central nervous system controls sleep: the brain and the spinal cord. The latter also sends signals which regulate the proper functioning of immunity. Sleep disorders will necessarily have consequences on the excellent balance of our immunity. Studies on animal models have, for example, shown that restricting paradoxical sleep (during which one dreams) could increase the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.

This communication is two-way since the central nervous system can also detect the activation of the immune system in any area of our body via the stimulation of nerve fibers at the site of infection or via inflammatory messengers, which will travel from the site of infection to the brain. Inflammatory messengers can increase our desire to sleep and our sleep time to force our body into “recovery” mode and let the immune system do its work. This is why we often feel a strong desire to sleep when we are sick. [1-3]

Sleep and Our Immunity

Disrupted Sleep, Disrupted Immunity:

What are the effects of disrupting our biological rhythms on our health? To answer this question, there is a gigantic experience every year, followed by more than a billion people worldwide: it’s the time to change! Indeed, when we lose an hour of sleep each spring to switch to summertime, we observe an increase in heart attacks and car accidents the following days and even an increase in inflammatory markers. Our internal clock is so sensitive that a simple hour difference is enough to have concrete impacts! [4]

On the more specific subject of immunity, a perfect example is that of night or shift workers. We observe that the latter have a more fragile immune system, a higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease, developing bacterial infections, and various problems linked to the immune system. [5] Work has also tested this effect on animals, in which it is observed that a shift in day-night cycles leads to a weakening of the immune system and an increase in mortality from infection. [6]

A Sleep Debt That Comes at A High Price

The impact on our ability to defend ourselves against infections is even more significant if sleep time is reduced. To illustrate this, Brazilian researchers carried out a study on mice contaminated by malaria (malaria), a disease caused by a parasite. The researchers deprived one group of sleep for 72 hours and let another group usually sleep. At the end of these three days, they infected all the mice with the parasite and then observed their survival rate. The effect was quite radical: 18 days after infection, all the mice deprived of sleep had died, while 90% of those that had maintained normal sleep had survived! [7]

Having a significant “sleep debt” when we encounter an infection leads to poorer immune system performance, which will less effectively neutralize it. The virus or parasite will multiply much more quickly in the first days following infection. The ability of the infection to spread more or less rapidly in the very first days determines the final survival rate.

A Valuable Ally for Prevention

Sleep is fundamental in the face of infections for our innate immune system, prevention, and acquired immune system, particularly in the event of vaccination. This is what a 2002 study showed about the effects of lack of sleep on the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine. Healthy young men were divided into two groups. The first slept usually during the two weeks of the experiment, and the second slept only 4 hours per night the week before their vaccination, then could sleep much more the following week to compensate for this lack of sleep.

Despite these longer nights post-vaccination, the men in the second group produced 50% fewer antibodies than those who maintained their average sleep time throughout the study. The antibody deficiency has not been made up, again showing the need not to be sleep-deprived when exposed to an infection or a vaccine in this specific case. [8]

Our Immunity and Quality Sleep

Even though immunity can never be guaranteed, having quality sleep, with nights of 7 to 8:30 hours on average, is essential for its proper functioning. However, facing our modern environment’s constraints, finding Morpheus’s arms can be challenging.

Fortunately, Nutra is here to give you a real boost. We think of melatonin to help us fall asleep more quickly, but other active ingredients, such as saffron, GABA, or spearmint, have been proven to improve sleep quality overall, from going to bed to waking up. You will find active ingredients in our sleep formula—enough for restful nights!

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Read More:

How to Effectively Treat Sleep Disorders

Tips for Sleeping Better and Improving Your Heart Health

Bad Mood, Depression… Why is Sleep So Important?


1- Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch. 2012;463(1):121-137. doi:10.1007/s00424-011-1044-0

2- Besedovsky L, Lange T, Haack M. The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease. Physiol Rev. 2019;99(3):1325-1380. doi:10.1152/physrev.00010.2018

3- Irwin MR. Sleep and inflammation: partners in sickness and in health. Nat Rev Immunol. 2019;19(11):702-715. doi:10.1038/s41577-019-0190-z

4- Rishi MA, Ahmed O, Barrantes Perez JH, et al. Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. 2020;16(10):1781-1784. doi:10.5664/jcsm.8780

5- Kecklund G, Axelsson J. Health consequences of shift work and insufficient sleep. BMJ. 2016;355:i5210. Published 2016 Nov 1. doi:10.1136/bmj.i5210

6- Labrecque N, Cermakian N. Circadian Clocks in the Immune System. J Biol Rhythms. 2015;30(4):277-290. doi:10.1177/0748730415577723

7- Lungato L, Gazarini ML, Paredes-Gamero EJ, Tufik S, D’Almeida V. Paradoxical sleep deprivation impairs mouse survival after infection with malaria parasites. Malar J. 2015;14:183. Published 2015 Apr 28. doi:10.1186/s12936-015-0690-7

8- Prather AA, Pressman SD, Miller GE, Cohen S. Temporal Links Between Self-Reported Sleep and Antibody Responses to the Influenza Vaccine. Int J Behav Med. 2021;28(1):151-158. doi:10.1007/s12529-020-09879-4

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