Think back to the last cold or illness you experienced. Was it following a time when you weren't sleeping well? Could it be that the poor sleep was due to you not using your sleep apnea therapy consistently or properly? You probably experienced that biological connection between poor sleep and immune system function. Shorter sleep—less than six hours a night—has been associated with an increased susceptibility to the common cold, according to research in the journal, Sleep.
If your sleep apnea treatment routine isn't running like a Swiss watch, you could be setting yourself up for a health setback, in particular illness from infectious diseases due to weakened immunity.
Discover why sleep is so important for the immune system and how your sleep apnea treatment compliance plays a role in your body's ability to fight off viruses.
Why You Need Sleep for a Healthy Immune System
The reason a lack of sleep weakens immunity is because you're increasing your susceptibility to infection. The relationship between the body's immune-endocrine system and sleep goes both ways, according to an article published in the Journal of Immunology Research. When you get good quality sleep by using CPAP therapy and giving your body the hours it needs, your immune system will be able to function optimally. Not sleeping well? Your immune response is compromised and it's tougher for your body to fight off infections.
Foreign pathogens cause sleep disturbances because they alter the brain systems that help you fall asleep and disrupt sleep stages. If you've ever woken up from sleep unexpectedly when you're under the weather and had trouble falling back to sleep, you've experienced this impact firsthand.
If you've ever tried to sleep with a stuffy nose or were told you were snoring when conked out with a cold, you know how disruptive those issues can be.