You may have heard about the relationship between flu and sleep, but how does it relate to influenza?. Poor sleep has been associated with increased susceptibility to the common cold, although there is no direct evidence for this. Depriving yourself of sleep can result in decreased immune function, impaired natural killer cell activity, and suppressed production of interleukin-2 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, sleep deprivation can reduce the antibody response to influenza and Hepatitis A immunization.
The Influenza Virus Affects Sleep
It’s no secret that cold, dry climates favor the survival of influenza viruses. But how does the flu virus affect our sleep during flu season? One reason may be how the influenza virus can survive longer in these environments than in warmer climates. Several factors are involved, including our lack of sunlight and vitamin D levels. These deficiencies compromise our immune systems. Flu is particularly common during cold, dry seasons, and it may be easier to catch and spread the virus in those conditions than in warmer climates.
- Recover Fast
Although there are countless prescription and over-the-counter medications for flu, good sleep can help you recover faster. By sleeping well, your body will have more energy to fight the virus. A well-rested body can focus more on developing key immune system proteins. In addition to boosting the immune system, sleep will help your body relax and stay healthy. So, make sure you get enough sleep during flu season. There is also the best sleeping temperature that helps you to sleep.
Activates The Immune System
The influenza virus, also known as the swine flu, is a highly contagious disease that causes respiratory tract infections. In humans, seasonal influenza viruses are responsible for 290,000 to 650,000 deaths each year. Avian influenza viruses can cause significant numbers of zoonotic infections and pandemics.
As a result, the immune system must become activated during flu season to protect you and your loved ones. Washing your sheets regularly can help in staying away from viruses.
- Innate Immune System
The influenza virus is typically contained within the lungs, but some people experience systemic flu symptoms. The immune system’s initial response involves cells of the innate immune system. These cells express receptors that detect the presence of the virus and produce hormone-like molecules, known as cytokines. These proteins activate cells to attack the virus and cause inflammation. These immune cells respond by triggering the production of inflammatory substances called cytokines and chemokines.
Insufficient sleep may reduce the immune system’s ability to fight the deadly H1N1 virus during flu season. Researchers say their study may help predict the severity of future flu seasons. By knowing which flu subtypes circulate in different regions, health officials can better prepare for the next flu season. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently announced a strategic plan to develop a universal flu vaccine.
- Reduce Infections
Earlier research suggests that insufficient sleep may reduce the immune system’s response to infections. However, this study did not determine the exact mechanisms involved, nor did it specify whether insufficient sleep could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Insufficient sleep could decrease the immune response to the H1N1 virus and other flu viruses. Sleep affects the immune system in multiple ways. Insufficient sleep, for example, reduces immune memory, which may result in a lower immunity to infections.
In winter, the flu virus tends to survive longer in cold, dry air. This is partly because the virus’ outer membrane is made of lipids, which do not mix with water. This makes it difficult for the virus to spread to others in humid conditions. The cold, dry air, on the other hand, makes the flu virus spread more easily and survives longer. Because people spend more time indoors during winter, they are more likely to breathe in the air of a sick person.
- Cold Or Dry Air
Viruses can survive in cold, dry air for up to 24 hours. In this environment, virus droplets can survive for up to 24 hours, allowing them to spread from person to person. Droplets can easily infect food, door handles, handrails, telephone handsets, computer keyboards, and remote controls. By touching these surfaces and breathing in the virus droplets, the individual can contract the virus.
Before Getting The Flu Vaccine
While a good night’s sleep is important for general health and stress reduction, getting a good night’s rest is especially important before receiving the flu vaccine. A lack of sleep will not harm you after one shot, but it will decrease your body’s ability to fight infection. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine in 2020, a lack of sleep will decrease the immune system’s capacity to respond to the vaccine.
- Less Effective
The study cited above found that lack of sleep reduces the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. It also found that people born during certain decades are more susceptible to the flu than others. The findings suggest that adequate sleep may help the flu vaccine work better. Insufficient sleep may reduce the antibody response, and may even result in a lower flu-fighting effect than the one derived from a full night’s sleep.
Cold Or The Flu
Getting enough sleep after a cold or the flu is important to get the rest your body needs to fight off infection. Research has shown that adults who got fewer than seven hours of sleep are nearly four times as likely to get colds. But even though sleep is important, many people struggle to get enough rest, even after being diagnosed with a cold or the flu.
Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is especially helpful for people who experience congestion. Sleeping on your back can exacerbate your symptoms. Aside from sleeping on your side, propping a pillow at an angle helps the sinuses drain and prevent congestion around the ears and eyes. Aside from these measures, taking proper medications can help you get a better night’s sleep. It may also be beneficial to unplug from electronic devices, such as the TV or computer, as this can keep your mind from thinking about work or school.
While some over-the-counter flu preparations may help you feel better faster, the truth is that a good night’s sleep is essential for keeping the flu at bay. Lack of sleep may lower your immune system’s response to the H1N1 virus. Not only does sleep help you feel better, but it also boosts your immune system