Circadian rhythms

Sleep and Your Immune System

Sleep and Your Immune System

You need sleep to help your immune system

When everything is working correctly, and your body is in an overall healthy state, the immune system can ward off sickness. But since the immune system connects to your central nervous system, changes elsewhere in the body, such as a lack of sleep or excessive stress, can impact immune function. Lack of sleep causes degenerative effects throughout the entire body, so the immune system will not work as efficiently when you are sleep deprived, making you more susceptible to illness.

Additionally, sleep affords the immune system the chance to recoup and reevaluate how best to attack invaders. Without enough rest, it will have a difficult time developing antibodies and keeping up defenses.

Sleep Increases Immune System Response Time

Ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep can also improve the immune system’s response time.

When we cycle through all four stages of sleep, each stage performs specific functions that are important for proper health. One of those functions is the production of the protein cytokine (any of a number of substances, such as interferon, interleukin, and growth factors, which are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells).

This helps the immune system respond to harmful pathogens. Cytokines increase cell to cell communication, enabling the immune system to direct antibodies towards specific infections.

If we don’t cycle through all four stages of sleep at least five times each night (7 to 8 hours of sleep), our cytokine production will be limited. Without this vital protein, the immune system doesn’t have what it needs to fight off viruses.

Sleep Increases T Cell Production

White Blood Cells also play a vital role in immune function. These cells help the immune system attack and destroy harmful cells. Research has shown that sleep can improve your T Cell’s ability to fight off invaders.

How to get better sleep 

  1. Ensure you have a comfortable and supportive mattress. We have a range of these at M6 Beds.
  2. Keep your bedroom dark by using blackout curtains, blinds, or eye masks.
  3. Invest in a good quality pillow.


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Circadian rhythm and sleep

Circadian rhythm and sleep

Circadian rhythms and sleep are inextricably linked, any disruption to one is likely to have a knock-on effect with the other.

Your circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that controls your biological and physiological processes, it cycles roughly every 24 hours.

Whilst your circadian rhythm is largely controlled by your brain, it is also influenced by external factors like natural light and darkness.

Just some of the important processes that your circadian rhythm helps to control are your sleep/wake cycle, hormone release, cell regeneration, metabolism, and temperature control.

Sleep and your circadian rhythm

Your circadian rhythm plays a key role in regulating your sleep/wake cycle and helping you to get a good night’s sleep by ensuring that you feel sleepy and alert at the right times of the day.

Maintaining a healthy and consistent circadian rhythm can help you to sleep better at night and feel more alert and focussed during the day.

Your circadian rhythm use cues throughout the day to keep it running smoothly. One of these cues is light and darkness.

During the day, natural light prevents your circadian rhythm from signalling your body to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

When it starts to get dark, your body takes this as a cue that it’s time to start winding down ready to sleep and releases melatonin to make you feel tired.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, or if your sleep pattern is disrupted, it can also disrupt your circadian rhythm. When your circadian rhythm is thrown out, the feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness that it produces will be more pronounced. As a result, you may find yourself feeling out of sorts and have difficulty concentrating during the day.

Strengthening your circadian rhythm with consistent eating and sleeping habits and by getting enough natural light during the day can help you to sleep better.

Posted by m6beds in Circadian rhythms