Getting an appropriate amount and quality of sleep has long been known to be important to good health.
In particular, scientists have shown that white blood cells, the cells which defend your body against germs, are strongest in people who get appropriate sleep.
In the latest issue of the journal, Trends in Neurosciences, scientists have gathered together lots of evidence to support that appropriate sleep not only helps your cells to fight germs but it also helps your cells to remember which germs to fight.
And remembering which germs to fight is the key to vaccination.
Let me highlight how this all works.
Your white blood cells are like overexcited and inefficient fighters when they fight an infection caused by a germ they have not seen before.
They are sort of like new recruits in an army, what they lack in skill they can make up for in numbers.
Your white blood cells will attack new germs in huge numbers and then flood the infection site with lots of chemicals which help to fight the germs. This flood of chemicals causes inflammation at the infection site and the chemicals also spill into your blood to give you that icky sick feeling.
In the end, your white blood cells, like over eager new fighters, will usually win the war even though it may not have been pretty. The cells will stop producing the chemicals and the inflammation and icky feeling will go away.
But some of your white blood cells took notes and acquired specific skills against the germs. They will remember the exact germ type that made you sick and they will react much faster and much more efficiently the next time they see that same germ.
These cells will be like quiet ninjas the next time they see these specific germs. They will kill the germs so quickly and so efficiently that you will not have inflammation or feel sick.
The process of your cells remembering the germs and becoming more efficient fighters is called “immunization”, the end result is called “being immune” or “having immunity”, and it all takes about two weeks.
A “vaccination” does the same thing to turn your white blood cells into efficient ninjas, but the agents in the vaccine don’t make you feel sick the first time when they are initially introduced into your body.
So what the recently published article says is when you get appropriate sleep, your hyperactive and inefficient white blood cells are very good at selecting out a few top fighters to become efficient ninja cells.
Good sleep equals good immunity.
But if you don’t get good sleep, then you don’t create as many ninja cells and you are more likely to feel sick again when you encounter that same germ.
Poor sleep equals poor immunity.
In summary, anything that helps you to get a good night’s sleep can help your inefficient white blood cells to evolve into efficient ninja cells during the immunization or vaccination process.
So if experiencing ASMR helps someone to fall asleep, then ASMR should get a little bit of credit for all the important and healthy things which happen during sleep.
No one has done any specific research yet to see if experiencing ASMR prior to sleep results in an improved immunization or vaccination process, but hopefully some researchers will tackle this soon.
In the meantime, make sure to get your flu vaccine and then follow it up with about two weeks of appropriate sleep – your ninja cell training will be busy while you sleep.
Click HERE to read a summary of the report in Trends in Neurosciences about sleep boosting the immunization process.
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