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You may think you can squeeze in one more hour of work or another episode of your favorite show before you go to sleep. No big deal, right. You'll just drink a second cup of coffee in the morning and plan to catch up on your sleep when the weekend arrives. Unfortunately, neither of these options will totally make up for the sleep you'll lose. Even a modest amount of sleep loss can be detrimental to your health and lead to a wide variety of disorders. Here are 8 ways insufficient or poor-quality sleep can negatively affect your immune system and your health.

1.  Lack of sleep increases your chances of getting sick after being exposed to a virus.

2.  Lack of sleep can increase the length of time it takes you to recover.

3.  A good night’s sleep after receiving a vaccine helps the vaccine work better. Restricted sleep can result in a decrease in the production of antibodies to the influenza vaccination.

4.  In the long term, lack of sleep can increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even a modest amount of sleep loss, restricting sleep to four hours for one night, resulted in the generation of inflammatory cytokines, which are secreted proteins that are released by cells and serve to promote inflammation.

5.  Lack of sleep has been found to increase your risk of obesity. Studies have found a link between sleep loss and changes in hormones that increase hunger and appetite. Learn more about this by reading our blog post “A Good Night’s Sleep to Keep the Weight Off.”

6.  Athletic performance can be negatively affected by insufficient or poor-quality sleep. In a study of endurance athletes, researchers found the biggest increase in injuries was among athletes who had reported insufficient sleep. Chronic sleep loss could also affect the time to recover from injuries. Read more about the relationship between exercise and sleep in our blog post “Athletes Need Their ZZZ’s, Too.”

7.  In addition to your immune system, insufficient or poor sleep can negatively affect your mood, memory, concentration, balance, and sex drive.

8.  Inadequate sleep can also make you more prone to workplace accidents and motor vehicle crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimated there were 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers in 2017 leading to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. This is believed to be an underestimate.

Now that you know a full night’s sleep is what the doctor ordered, check out "8 Ways to Improve Your Sleep and Your Immune System." Sleep health and wellness is your health and wellness. We suggest you start by creating a comfortable and hygienic sleep environment with Down Etc’s bedding. The perfect feather and down or down alternative pillow, 100% cotton hotel-quality sheets, and an all-season comforter will make it easy to put down your work, turn off the television, and snuggle into a great night’s sleep.

Updated Links July 29, 2022

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