Sleep and Sickness

During the flu and cold season, how does one try to prevent from getting sick? Many people will try to stock up on Vitamin C or other vitamins. Others will take their routine flu shot, but you probably didn’t know that without a sufficient amount of sleep, the flu shot has ZERO benefit to your immune system. The flu shot is a waste of time and money if you aren’t getting enough sleep because the immune system does not receive a good enough signal to generate a healthy response. It actually requires about five days to develop a nice healthy response to the flu shot, and around day ten is when you would expect to see a beautiful healthy antibody response. So if you’re planning to get the flu shot, remember to SLEEP. 

Another study also gave participants a cold virus and found out that those who had less than 5 hours of sleep had the highest chance of showing flu-like symptoms. So, grab some Zzz’s to prevent the cold!

(Study done by Prather et al. 2015)sick_in_bed

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3 thoughts on “Sleep and Sickness

  1. Why is our immune system so much weaker when we don’t get enough sleep? I definitely noticed I tend to get sick from not eating well & not getting enough sleep rather than the cold weather or being around people who are sick.

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    1. That’s a great question. 🙂 In a study done by Irwin et al., Psychosomatic Medicine 56:493-498 (1994), the main focus was exactly what you’re curious about! They wondered if sleep loss could make you sick, and what they found was that with a four hour reduction in sleep, natural killer cell activity was reduced by 70%. Natural killer cells are very good at identifying foreign elements and eliminating them, so imagine…if only one night of bad sleep causes such a huge reduction imagine doing it consistently…

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