So Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Flu
A lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses like the flu. Research has shown that a lack of sleep causes stress hormones to inhibit the effectiveness of T cells in the body. These cells are immune cells that help the body fight against cells infected by a virus, such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells.
Also, during sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines, and some of these cytokines need to increase when a person gets sick. A lack of sleep can affect the production of these cytokines, and this can have a significant effect on the immune system.
The bottom line is that if youre lacking in sleep, your immune system wont be as effective at preventing or fighting off viruses like the flu, so you might easily get the flu and suffer from its symptoms.
How Does Sleep Relate To Mental Health
There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Living with a mental health problem can affect how well you sleep, and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.
“Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself. That’s a horrible place to be.”
How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep
If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:
- Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
- Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
- If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
- Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
- Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
- Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.
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Why Might Sleep Be Affected By Covid
There are many reasons why your sleep may have changed as a result of COVID:
- A lack of natural daylight can interfere with the production of a chemical in our brain called melatonin. It is this chemical that makes us feel sleepy.
- The medications that have been used to treat you can impact on your sleep too.
The experience of being in a hospital setting can also disrupt the natural sleep cycle because:
- Hospitals are noisy, busy places. There are always people around and it can be noisy with alarms beeping on equipment, especially in intensive care units. This means patients can be easily disturbed .
- You are sleeping in a hospital bed which may not be as comfortable as your own bed.
If you have had a stay in hospital, you might have had some very distressing experiences. For some people, these experiences can replay in their mind as thoughts or dreams about what happened, making it hard to fall or stay asleep. This is made worse if you had delirium .
Headaches Strokes And Tumors
People who are prone to headaches should try to avoid sleep deprivation, as lack of sleep can promote headaches. Both cluster headaches and migraines may be related to changes in the size of blood vessels leading to the cortex of the brain pain occurs when the walls of the blood vessels dilate.
Researchers theorize that as the body catches up on missed sleep, it spends more time in delta sleep, when vessels are most constricted, making the transition to REM sleep more dramatic and likely to induce a headache. Headaches that awaken people are often migraines, but some migraines can be relieved by sleep. Sleepiness coupled with dizziness, weakness, headache, or vision problems may signal a serious problem such as a brain tumor or stroke, which requires immediate medical attention.
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Lack Of Sleep And Fevers
Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them.
For example, our bodies fight infection with fevers. âOne of the things that happens when we sleep is that we can get a better fever response,â Balachandran says. âThis is why fevers tend to rise at night. But if we are not sleeping, our fever reaction is not primed, so we may not be waging war on infection as best we can.â
Breathing Patterns And Sleep Quality
Clinical observations of Russian MDs resulted in this Table that links body and brain oxygen levels with sleep quality and duration.
How can we improve sleep quality and stop insomnia? First let us consider this question: Why do we need sleep? Common sense tells us that we need it to provide rest for the brain and muscles. We know that deep breathing makes the brain over-excited and muscles tense . For example, neurological research suggests that hyperventilation leads to spontaneous and asynchronous firing of cortical neurons . Do you need any spontaneous and asynchronous signals or thoughts when you go to sleep?
Hence, CO2 deficiency should affect the quality of our sleep due to these effects. In addition, brain hypocapnia naturally causes brain hypoxia . Here are some general practical observations about unconscious breathing patterns and the quality of sleep.
Healthy people have normal breathing at rest . A person with normal breathing : falls asleep in less than 1 minute sleeps for about 4-5 hours, with very quiet, light and peaceful breathing, and he or she can stay in the same sleep position the whole night does not remember dreams and does not have nightmares awakes to feel refreshed and full of energy and vigor with a morning CP of about 60 or more seconds.
Even If You Have Not Been In Hospital Being Ill At Home Can Get In The Way Of A Good Nights Sleep
- Symptoms of COVID include breathlessness, a dry cough and fever each of which can make it difficult to sleep. Another common symptom is fatigue which can lead to daytime sleeping which disrupts the day/night cycle.
It is natural to feel frightened about being unwell with COVID. This fear puts the body into a state of high alert . This prepares the body and mind for action, not rest and can make it almost impossible to sleep.
Tips To Help You Sleep
If youre not sleeping once in a while, dont worry about it, Drake said. I want to emphasize that one bad night now and then is nothing to worry about.
For serious sleeplessness, Hardin and Drake recommend whats called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. This is a structured, evidence-based program guided by a sleep therapist that helps you relearn how to sleep. The goal is to help you replace thoughts and behaviors that hurt your sleep with new behaviors and thinking that will help you sleep well.
But there are a number of things people can do on their own. It starts with taking steps to fight the stress of COVID fatigue. Here are more sleep tips:
- Keep a normal daily routine:If youre working from home, keep the same schedule as if you were going to work, Hardin said. Dont sleep in or stay up late. When that alarm rings, as painful as is, get up.And give yourself a break during the day, just as you would in the office. Take a lunch break or go for a walk or just get outside.
- Create and keep a going-to-bed routine:Slow down at the end of your day, Drake said. Begin turning down the lights about a half hour before bed. Bright lights will keep your brain from producing natural melatonin .
- Get some exercise during the day: It reduces stress and keeps our bodies in their normal rhythms. Its best, however, to finish the exercise a few hours before bedtime to give your body time to cool down and slow down.
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Tips For Getting Quality Sleep When Youre Sick
Even though being sick can make you tired, it can be hard to get quality sleep when you dont feel well or have a stuffy nose or persistent cough. In many cases, symptoms tend to get worse later in the day, which can make sleep even more difficult.
If youre having a hard time sleeping, try some of these tips:
Sleep And Innate And Adaptive Immunity
Sleep is an important period of bodily rest, and studies indicate that sleep plays a crucial role in the robustness of our immune system. In fact, sleep contributes to both innate and adaptive immunity.
Researchers have found that during nightly sleep, certain components of the immune system rev up. For example, there is an increased production of cytokines associated with inflammation. This activity appears to be driven both by sleep and by circadian rhythm, which is the bodys 24-hour internal clock.
When someone is ill or injured, this inflammatory response may help with recovery, fortifying innate and adaptive immunity as the body works to repair wounds or fight off an infection.
Studies have found, though, that this inflammation occurs even when a person isnt actively hurt or sick. Analysis of the type of cells and cytokines involved in this nighttime immune activity indicates that its role is to strengthen adaptive immunity.
Just like sleep can help the brain consolidate learning and memory, research suggests that sleep strengthens immune memory. The interaction of immune system components during sleep reinforces the immune systems ability to remember how to recognize and react to dangerous antigens.
Experts arent certain why this process takes place during sleep, but it is believed that several factors may be involved:
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How To Tackle Insomnia
If you suspect youre struggling with insomniaTrusted SourceInsomnia – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo ClinicChanging your sleep habits and addressing any issues that may be associated with insomnia, such as stress, medical conditions or medications, can restore restful sleep for many people.www.mayoclinic.org or other sleep issues, there are several things you can do to combat it. If youre only dealing with occasional sleep troubles, insomnia probably isnt the answer, but if symptoms persist for a few weeks, you should get your doctor to intervene.
Before consulting your doctor, here are a few things you could try:
Can Covid Cause Insomnia
The COVID pandemic has found a way to wreak havoc on the world in just about every way. Not to mention the astronomical impact it has had on human health, both physical and mental. One of the most prominent issues COVID has caused, besides mortal sickness, is problems with sleep.
But is insomnia a symptom of COVID-19? The answer to this is a little complicated. While insomnia isnt a common symptom of COVID, the indirect effects of COVID, like day-to-day monotony and lack of routine, can facilitate insomnia.
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Illnesses And Sleep Disorders
An illness can affect your sleep in a number of ways, including:
- Having to wake up to go to the toilet
- Pain or discomfort
- Excessive sleep or poor quality sleep as shown in sleep disorders such as Narcolepsy
Just your average common cold can be a cause of insomnia. Having a stuffed up nose or a tickly cough can make getting a good nights sleep so much harder.
Some side effects of medication can make it harder to get a good nights sleep. If youre taking any medication its worth checking the label or the little slip of paper in the box to see if insomnia is listed as one of the side effects. Alternative medication might be available, so ask your doctor if you think your medication could be a cause of insomnia.
Coronasomnia Is A Series Of Vicious Circles
Insomnia perpetuates itself, Hardin said. The more you cant sleep, the more you worry about it and the more you dont sleep.
In fact, COVID-19-related insomnia is a Venn diagram of connected vicious circles. Along with the insomnia-causes-stress-causes-more-insomnia cycle, they include:
- Many of the things we do to fight insomnia, like taking a daytime nap or having that extra glass of wine, actually increase our sleep problems and disrupted routines.
- Were all fatigued by COVID-19. When you pile on exhaustion from lost sleep, every new annoyance, large or small, creates frustration and anxiety and more disruption to sleep.
- Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, which causes problems like reflux that keep you awake.
- A lack of sleep can have a range of health impacts ranging from depression to high blood pressure to higher risks for heart attack or stroke. Those can make us more vulnerable to COVID-19, and knowing that creates more worries and more insomnia.
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Insomnia And Irregular Sleep Schedules
In an ideal world, the bodys internal clock, known as its circadian rhythm, closely follows the daily pattern of day and night. In reality, many people have sleep schedules that cause misalignment of their circadian rhythm.
Two well-known examples are jet lag and shift work. Jet lag disturbs sleep because a persons body cant adjust to a rapid change in time zone. Shift work requires a person to work through the night and sleep during the day. Both can give rise to a disrupted circadian rhythm and insomnia.
In some people, circadian rhythms can be shifted forward or backward without a clear cause, resulting in persistent difficulties in sleep timing and overall sleep quality.
Eat Chicken Soup For Dinner
Turns out, mom was onto something when shed serve you a piping hot bowl of chicken soup on sick days. The steam wafting up from your bowl is perfect for clearing your nasal passages, while the broth helps you stay hydrated.
But thats not all. Research suggests that chicken soup actually contains anti-inflammatory effects that may aid in easing cold symptoms and help you bounce back faster. Though experts cant say for sure how the whole thing works, they do know that canned soups seem to work as well as homemadeso you can reap the benefits even if mom isnt around to make you a fresh batch.
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What If I Am Having Bad Dreams
Bad dreams can prevent a good nights sleep. The content of the dreams may or may not be related to your experiences of being unwell with COVID. Either way, they can wake us up, prevent us getting back to sleep or be so unpleasant that we avoid sleep. One technique for managing this is called The Dream Completion Technique. This is explained below.
What Should I Do
If you think you’re getting enough rest at night and you’re still feeling tired during the day, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor. Excessive tiredness can be caused by all sorts of health problems, not just problems with sleep.
If a sleep problem is suspected, your doctor will look at your overall health and sleep habits. In addition to doing a physical examination, the doctor will take your medical history by asking you about any concerns and symptoms you have, your past health, your family’s health, any medications you’re taking, any allergies you may have, and other issues.
The doctor also might do tests to find out whether any conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea might be interfering with your sleep.
Treatment for sleep problems can vary. Some can be treated with medicines, while others can be helped with special techniques like light therapy or other practices that can help reset a person’s body clock.
Doctors also encourage teens to make lifestyle changes that promote good sleeping habits. You probably know that caffeine can keep you awake, but many teens don’t realize that texting and using mobile devices, playing video games, or watching TV before sleeping can, too.
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Manage Your Worries And Stress
If you find yourself running through your to-do lists instead of falling asleep, try keeping a journal next to your bed so you can jot down whatever is on your mind before lying down, and then try to leave those thoughts for the next day. Stress management techniques like meditation are also great for lowering anxiety and aiding sleep.8
What Are The Benefits Of Sleep When Youre Sick
Most benefits of sleep when youre sick are related to helping your immune system do its job and fight your illness. This happens in a few different ways.
First, cytokines, which are a type of protein in your immune system that target infections, are produced and released during sleep. This means that sleep helps jump-start your immune response to your illness.
Your body also has a better fever response which is another way it fights infection while youre sleeping.
Your immune system also needs energy to function. When youre awake, your body needs to direct energy to activities like thinking or moving around. If youre sleeping, your body can redirect that energy to your immune system so you can get better as quickly as possible.
Being tired also means that youre less likely to go out and infect others while youre sick.
A lack of energy can also help keep you safe. Because your immune system is busy fighting the infection you have, it doesnt fight as well against any new potential illnesses. So, feeling tired can prevent you from going out and exposing yourself to other germs and diseases.
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