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A strong immune system is extremely important especially in times of corona. However, the role of a good sleep is still underestimated.

More and more research results show a clear connection between sleep and the immune system.

A few years ago, a groundbreaking scientific study demonstrated that the proportion of natural defence cells against influenza viruses in the body fell by 70% when test persons slept only four hours instead of eight.

Especially in the current threat situation by the corona virus, more and more scientists are dealing with this topic.

The renowned professor of psycho-neuro-immunology at the University Hospital of Lübeck, PD Dr. Tanja Lange, is, besides others, a representative in the "Senate Committee on Medicine for the Scientific Service Group" in Germany.

In a recent article she clearly states:

"Especially in the current (corona) situation, a restful night's sleep is essential to strengthen our immune system"!

In a scientific study quoted by her, half of the test persons were allowed to sleep for only four hours four nights before and two nights after a flu vaccination. The other half, however, were allowed to rest for their usual 7.5 to eight hours.

Ten days after the vaccination, the study participants had only half as many antibodies against the flu virus as the rested people.

The doctor herself observed in another study years ago that even a single sleepless night immediately after vaccination could have long-term consequences: Compared to the control group with a normal night's sleep, the test persons without sleep still had a lower number of T-helper cells in their blood - immune cells that are supposed to arm themselves against an infection with the virus - twelve months after a threefold hepatitis A vaccination.

On the other hand, Dr. Lange found that directly after a restful night, the body produces more important immune messenger substances.

"We have first indications that a good night's sleep strengthens the acute immune system," said the psychologist Luciana Besedovsky from the University of Tübingen.

But beware: "Good sleep" does not necessarily mean "long sleep". The World Health Organization WHO recommends 7 - 9 hours of sleep.

In what is probably the largest study ever conducted on the subject, it was found that the optimal sleep duration for adults between 18 and 64 years of age is 7 hours.

Ultimately, it is not only the length of sleep but also the quality of sleep that is decisive. And you should do everything to be able to sleep relaxed. - Among other things, thanks to a good duvet and pillow.

Better bedding, better sleep.

Sandro Corpina

 

Sources:

Sonntagszeitung, Ruhen in unruhigen Zeiten

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wie wichtig guter Schlaf in der Corona-Krise ist

Fit for Fun, Schutz vor dem Coronavirus: Warum guter Schlaf so wichtig für das Immunsystem ist

 

Cited experts:

PD Dr. med. Tanja Lange, Fachärztin Innere Medizin, Klinik für Rheumatologie und Klinische Immunologie

Dr. Luciana Besedovsky, Leitung der “Schlaf-Immun»Gruppe am Institut für Medizinische Psychologie und Verhaltensneurobiologie

Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold, Sept 2015, Sleep Research Society, Oxford Academic,

Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia. Feb 2002, JAMA Psychiatry

 


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