Decreased Immune Function

Sleep Apnea and Decreased Immune Function

Sleep helps our body to repair and regulate our immune system. Without enough sleep, the body will not be able to repair the daily probably. Deprived of proper regulation of the endocrine system, the immune system will go erratic. The immune system will have a harder time defending the body against infections. And as Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing pancreas cells, sleep deprivation may trigger even more irreparable damage to the pancreatic cells.

Sleep restrictions, sleep apnea and sleep deficit increase your susceptibility to disease.  The immune system is connected to the sleep cycle. The actions of the immune system is to fight off disease. Sleep in healthy people and in sick people is regulated somewhat by immune system components called cytokines.

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The immune system has a circadian rhythm. Often referred to as the “body clock”, the circadian rhythm is a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat. The circadian rhythm regulates many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature. Blood counts of T-cells and levels of proinflammatory cytokines are high during the night while leukocytes and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 goes up during daytime.  The immune system is both influenced by and influences sleep.

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