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The Secret Connection Between Sleep and Your Immune System

We've always known that, in one way or another, getting good, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and wellness. But, believe it or not, there is a very real connection between not getting a good night's sleep, and having a poor functioning immune system. Although the connection may not seem very intuitive on the surface, we assure you that these two physiological activities are much more intertwined than most people realize.

If you only get a bad night's sleep every once in a while, then it probably won't cause any long-term damage to your overall immunity. But the longer your sleep struggle continues, the more likely it will be to hinder your ability to fight off disease. And considering that there's a breaking news story almost every day about this new strain of deadly influenza or that new superbug which can't be eliminated with even the most powerful antibiotics, having a strong immune system is more important than ever. Below, we'll go into detail about how your immune response and your sleep cycle are connected. We'll also give you some helpful suggestions for improving your quality of rest.

The Connection Between Poor Sleep and Poor Immunity: Stress!

The average healthy adult needs about 8 hours of sleep each night, but that can vary from person to person. Whether you need more or fewer hours than average depends on how you feel when you wake up the next morning. Are you groggy when you wake up? Are coffee and/or energy drinks the only thing that get you through your day? Do you feel mentally sharp, or do you have a hard time focusing and remembering things? If you can't give good answers to any of these questions, that's a pretty big warning sign that you're not getting enough sleep (or that you're getting poor quality sleep). And according to European scientists, this is akin to stressing your body out in unhealthy ways.

Now, a small amount of stress is not only tolerable, but actually healthy. It's called hormetic stress, and its effects are similar to that of a vaccine; whether it's something like exercise, a sauna, or an ice bath, exposing your body to these small amounts of stress helps it build itself back up stronger and more resilient than it was before. But the more stress you subject your body to - both physically and emotionally - the more damage it does, and the harder it is for your body to recover from it. The recovery is the important part. And the most important tool your body has for recovery is a good, quality night's sleep.

complications of insomnia

So what happens when you take away that tool? What happens to your body when it cannot recover from excessive stress exposure with quality rest? Well, in some medical circles, experts think that cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes can all be traced back to poor sleep. Even if you are the healthiest individual on the planet (minus your poor sleep habits), you will still put yourself at risk for developing serious chronic illnesses and shortening your overall lifespan. So be careful the next time you're tempted to push your body past its limits and tell yourself that you'll 'sleep when you're dead' - because that may happen a lot sooner than you might think.

When Poor Sleep Hurts Your Immune Response

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While scientists have suspected for a long time that poor sleep could lead to poor health, it wasn't until recently that they started to make some concrete connections between the two. Recently published data has shown that poor quality sleep or insufficient sleep forces your body to produce fewer T-cells. T-cells are the white blood cells that work the hardest to kill pathogens in your bloodstream so that you can develop antibodies and get well. When you don't have enough T-cells, your immune function is compromised. Think of it like fighting a war; more often than not, the side with the fewest number of soldiers loses.

Having too few T-cells can cause many different health complications if you aren't careful. For one, getting your annual flu shot could actually make you sick instead of protecting you if the weekend virus in the vaccine can overpower your low T-cell count. It'll also take you longer to recover from getting sick, and cause you to get sick more frequently. This, in turn, can lead to more sick days and less time spent earning income. This lack of money and jeopardized job security can cause emotional stress which keeps you up at night, which can hinder your quality of sleep...which, as you can see, turns into a vicious cycle.

How to Get Better Sleep and Boost Your Immunity

As frustrating as it is to struggle with getting better sleep, conquering the problem isn't impossible. Most sleep experts will suggest that you start by putting more effort into improving your sleep hygiene. Your sleep hygiene is the series of habits you practice each and every night before bed to get yourself ready for sleep. Believe it or not, there are many little things - from the temperature of your bedroom to your light exposure and more - that can either help or hurt your ability to get a good night's rest. Figuring out a healthy sleep hygiene routine and executing your plan is a strong first step towards improving your sleep quality and your immune response.

Another thing you want to make sure you stop doing is taking chemical sleep medications. Most sleeping pills, regardless of whether or not you need a prescription to buy them, actually hurt your sleep quality in the long run. And the longer you depend on them, the worse it gets. This is why you should be looking for a high-quality, safe, natural herbal sleep aid like Avinol PM to improve your nightly rest. Unlike sleeping pills, Avinol will not alter the way your body and brain prepare for sleep after the sun goes down. You'll get the same type of high-quality, natural sleep that you would if you left your body to its own devices. An added bonus is that, unlike sleeping pills, there are no withdrawal symptoms or side effects such as rebound insomnia. So if you want to make sure your immune system can tough out the next cold and flu season, give Avinol PM a try.

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