Expert Opinion: How Sleep Affects Your Immunity

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Your body is restoring itself when you're sleeping. Your body is slowing all of its other bodily functions down so that it can cleanse itself, it can restore itself, and get ready for the next day. There are guidelines that recommend that adults get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

The immune system is one of many systems within your body, and they're all intertwined. And so if you're not taking care of, for instance, your sleep, then your immune system will suffer. And all the rest of your body systems will suffer too. Your sleep is tightly tied to your circadian rhythm. And if you're trying to fight that, or disrupt that, or if there's health conditions that are disrupting that, there are issues with blood pressure, blood sugar, hormone levels, immunity, different things that are all tied to sleep.

One of the things I will tell patients is I don't really care what time you go to bed. The goal is to get seven to nine hours of sleep. But what I care is that you get up at the right time. So whatever time works for you in your daily schedule, that's the time you need to wake up. But you need to try and do that seven days a week and not try and catch up on sleep, so to speak, over the weekend.