3. Weakens Your Immunity
If you notice that you are continually getting ill – with colds, flus and viruses – it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can affect your immune system – your body’s protective system – from fighting off infections like the common cold, the flu and other ailments.
When the immune system is weakened, your body loses its ability to fight off viruses, and therefore you are likely to get sick more often.
Getting enough sleep is essential to maintain the healthy running of the body’s immune system. When you sleep, proteins are released called cytokines, along with other infection-fighting antibodies, which protect your body against infection and inflammation.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the body produces less cytokines, which impacts your body’s ability to fight off infection in the same way.
One study carried out by the University of Washington Health Sciences, proved that by carrying out research on pairs of twins and showing that the twin that consistently got less than 6 hours sleep a night had a suppressed immune system, than the twin who got between 6 and 8 hours sleep a night.
Sleeping also helps to fight fever once you are sick. This is why when you come down with a severe cold or flu, your body will want to sleep for long periods. It is during your sleeping time that the fever rises and your body is able to tackle it more effectively. This is why when you are sick, and you don’t give your body a chance to rest, it is likely you will stay sick for longer.