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How Important is Sleep? The Research Indicates Very Important

There have been many recent articles about sleep, and its importance in our health. Good quality sleep is important for our overall general health. Lack of sleep has been linked to increased pain sensitivity and increased inflammation.

For instance, this article from cites research done that explain the link between autoimmune disease and pain, as well as increased risk of depression. Read the article: article sleep tied to increased inflammation and worse disease course

A post by the Mayo Clinic links a lack of sleep with increased risk of illness. In the post, by Dr. Eric J. Olson, he explains why lack of sleep can make you sick. Read it here:

Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

How much sleep do you need to bolster your immune system? The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

But more sleep isn’t always better. For adults, sleeping more than nine to 10 hours a night may result in a poor quality of sleep, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep.

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Ms. Jenn Landers | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC
  Edited by Dr. Justin Groode