One cold per year is one too many. Who needs the sniffling and sneezing, the wheezing and coughing? Believe it or not, if you get enough sleep, you can help your body battle cold viruses.
Knowing the connection between sleep and the immune system can help you reach your cold-prevention goals.
Do you always feel tired and sleepy when you are sick? This is because your immune system needs you to sleep so that it can recharge and battle infection and illness.
When your body fights off an infection, your immune system produces a molecule called interleukin-1, or IL-1. One of IL-1's jobs is to make you sleepy. IL-1 is produced in larger amounts in reaction to di-muramyl peptide, a protein. This protein is produced by bacteria when you do not get enough sleep. So, when you are sick, your body makes you want to sleep to help fight off your infection.
Even losing one good night's sleep can have an effect on your immune system. The most important part of your sleeping cycle to your immune system is REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. During this part of your sleep cycle, your immune system works to repair your body, making sleep a very important part of avoiding colds and other illnesses.
What are some sleep tips that will help you snooze better? Here are some suggestions:
Getting enough sleep will not only help with cold prevention, it will also help your memory and will keep you energetic throughout the day.
Life Extension Foundation (2006) The Common Cold. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from the LifeExtension Web site: http://www.lef.org/protocols/infections/common_cold_01.htm.
The Better Sleep Council. (n.d.) The National Sleep Foundation/Better Sleep Council Sleep Tips. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from the BetterSleepCouncil Web site: http://www.bettersleep.org/OnBetterSleep/NSF_BSC_tips.asp.
The Mayo Clinic. (2007) 10 Tips for Better Sleep. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from the MayoClinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387.
Sleeping Problems and Disorders. (n.d.) Sleep and the Immune System. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from the SoundSleeping Web site: http://www.soundsleeping.org/articles/sleep-immune-system.htm.
information on health-related topics, not medical advice, diagnosis or
treatment recommendations. Please consult your physician if you have questions