| Fashion Advice, Health,

Sleep Boosts Your Immune System

Beatrice Lessi

If you needed another reason to get a good sleep, this might be it:  sleep boosts your immune system.

Raise your hand if you haven’t thought “I’m going to outsmart this crisis”, since the start of our lockdown. For the outside of our body, we’ve heard the instructions a million times: wash your hands, stay at a distance, etc. For the inside, your secret weapon is sleep.

Why

Numerous studies have reported the benefits of a good night’s sleep, this is how sleep helps our immune system to run as efficiently as possible.

Sleep Boosts T Cell Production

One way sleep helps the immune system is in how it fosters T Cell production. T Cells are white blood cells. That continually patrol our body looking for rogue cells to identify and kill before they can multiply that play a critical part in the immune system’s response to viruses. Their activation is an important step in how the body handles invaders, with T Cells attacking and destroying virus-carrying cells.

A good night’s sleep is needed for T Cells to work their best, however. One recent study showed participants who were able to get a full night of sleep reported higher levels of T Cell activation compared to participants who didn’t get ample sleep. Sleep deprivation, meanwhile, stops T Cells from responding efficiently — and makes it more difficult for the body to fight back against illnesses.

Sleep Improves the Immune System’s Response to Threats

The immune system’s response time is also improved by getting a good night’s sleep.

By completing the four sleep cycles, you’re supporting the release and production of cytokine, a multifaceted protein that helps the immune system quickly respond to antigens.

A lack of sleep makes this tougher. Our body relies on a full night of rest to replenish the cells and proteins it needs to fight diseases. Sleep loss stymies cytokine production, and in the process makes it harder for your body to battle back against viruses. (Dr Michael J. Breus, Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine)

Also:

Chronic sleep loss  makes flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond. (sleepfoundation.org).

How much sleep

People have to honestly reflect on the amount of sleep they’re getting because a lot of the problems are voluntarily induced, and they just need to decide to prioritize an adequate night’s sleep, Eric Olson, MD, a pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Sleep is like anything else in the body. It’s a natural state and has to be taken care of to be healthy. Sleep should leave you feeling refreshed, not groggy and struggling. Realistic expectations are essential. And sleep changes as you age, so you may not feel as rested as you did when you were younger. Kimberley Hardin, MD, director of the sleep medicine fellowship program at the University of California Davis.

Less than five hours sleep per night on a regular basis is associated with higher mortality, and having less than seven hours sleep for three nights in a row has the same effect on the body as missing one full night of sleep.

Stock Up on Naps

Taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each —one in the morning and one in the afternoon—has been shown to help decrease stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.  If you can’t swing a half-hour nap during the workday, try grabbing a 20-minute siesta on your lunch hour, and another right before dinner. 

(sleepfoundation.org)

Functional Sleepwear

Please don’t be mad at me if, in this stressful situation of corona alarm, I sleep better than usual. There there are two reasons for it: 1. I consciously make sure I get enough sleep and plan around it, 2. I discovered functional sleepwear, by Dagsmejan. 

Today? It started Last Night

Dagsmejan is a revolutionary sleepwear that comes from Switzerland. It has a very precise function: to improve sleep quality.

The Stay Warm  range I wear in these photos is…another level, let me tell you. Here are the main differences :

  • Supreme Fit and Comfort: From ergonomic seams to stretch waistbands and a no-tag design, every detail of the Stay Warm collection has been designed to provide luxurious warmth and lightness. Cosy over-thumb sleeves to keep your hands as comfortable as the rest of your body.
  • Temperature Control: The collection is made in natural merino wool and Tencel fibres, 4 X more breathable than cotton. The natural structure of merino wool creates insulating air pockets, trapping more air than any other fibre and building a defence against the cold. Tencel is more breathable than cotton, containing millions of invisible nanocapillaries in its fibres which allow excess heat to be released.
  • Moisture Management:The unique combination of fibres with advanced moisture management properties, means you feel dry even if you begin to sweat. These fibres absorbe 35% of their weight before feeling damp (most synthetic fabrics feel wet after absorbing just 7%). Tencel offers 50% better moisture management than cotton.
  • Super Soft Touch: 2X as soft as cotton, ultra-lightweight, stretch fabric that has been proven more warming than textiles 50% heavier. Super-soft touch, lightweight, comfortable finish.

Better Sleep. Better Life. Better Planet.

Last but not least: Dagsmejan makes sure its production is sustainable.

I also just received their new Recovery collection, with embedded minerals that reflect infrared energy back to our bodies, which can increase and enhance our blood flow and oxygenation, enhancing muscle recovery whilst sleeping.

I will for sure test that! Being a runner, I am obviously very interested in anything that might help my performance. So stay tuned for more and…happy home staying!