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Sleep and Immune Health

Sleep and Immune Health

In this Corona virus epidemic, we are all on the pursuit of a healthy immune system. Many of you may happen to be taking supplements or cutting out sugar to help your immune system. Those are important, but I’m guessing most of you aren’t aware on how sleep impacts your immune health and that getting only 7 hours of sleep a night lowers your immune function quite drastically!

When I consult clients, one of the questions I ask is “Do you sleep well?” However, I had to changed my question to, “How long do you sleep?” Clients often responded to my question about sleeping well with a “yes” but when I would ask them how long they slept, it was often 5 or 6 hours. OF COURSE you slept well! You are sleep deprived!

Sleep is so important for so many things. Sleep not only impacts your weight, cravings and mood, it also has a huge impact on your immune health! Sleep is also VERY important for immune health! With COVID-19 having a strong immune system is more important than ever. And sleep can be a huge contributor to improved immune function. Look at THIS STUDY. In this study the people that got less than 7 hours of sleep were 294% more likely to get the cold than those with 8 or more hours of sleep! That is almost 3 times as likely to get it. Another study HERE shows that those with 6 hours a night of sleep were 420% more likely (over 4 times as likely) to get a cold when exposed to it versus those that get more than 7 hours of sleep.

One of the most important things we can do to ensure our immune system stays strong is to get enough quality sleep.

Over the past 15 years, researchers have proved a remarkable evidence that sleep enhances immune defense! It is true that ‘sleep helps healing’.  Studies find that sleep helps T cells in your body fight off infection. T cells are a type of immune cells that fight against viruses.

Without adequate sleep, your body makes less cytokines. Cytokines are a type of protein that attacks inflammation as well as infection. Cytokines are produced and as well as released while you sleep, causing a big problem if you don’t get quality shut-eye.  Chronic lack of sleep has also shown to make the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.

Another way that lack of sleep impacts our immune health is with adrenaline and noradrenaline (also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine), which are our stress hormones. When our stress hormones are high, they inhibit the “stickiness” of the adhesion molecules called integrins. When you are sleeping, your adrenaline, noradrenaline, and prostaglandins are low which causes the “stickiness” of the integrins to be stronger. This stickiness is important because in order for T cells to kill virus-infected cells or cancer cells, they need to get in direct contact with them, and the integrins stickiness is known to promote this contact.


Being from Ethiopia, I am shocked that my boys are rarely sick! It could be that they do not eat sugar, but I know it also has a lot to do with getting proper sleep! During sleep, we produce proteins known as cytokines, which the body relies on to fight illness, infection, and STRESS. Often times when you have the flu or a cold you get exhausted and it forces you to rest, which aids the body’s ability to heal. Lack of sleep impacts the number of cytokines we produce. And it’s been found that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours per night are almost 3 times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to that virus than those who sleep eight or more hours.

Micah is 10 years old and Kai is 9. For proper growth and health, they need 10-11 hours of sleep at night. Most kids I know are not getting nearly enough sleep!

Sleep is as important as what we feed our children. It’s when the body repackages neurotransmitters, chemicals that helps the brain cells to communicate, creates proper serotonin and dopamine. Studies have shown that sleep allows brain cells to “take out the trash” each night, flushing out disease-causing toxins.

The most scary news from these studies are how quickly kids fall into the danger zone. The repercussions of sleep deprivation happen after only 4 nights of one fewer hour of sleep per night!  One thing that parents can do to help is to get their kids blue and green light blocking glasses from BLUblox so when they are doing school work on screens later in the evening, it will not hinder proper melatonin production. Especially now that it is getting darker longer due to winter then we are exposed to more artificial light which makes it super important to support a natural sleep cycle and circadian rhythm!

As we have talked about many times, blocking the blue light (and certain green light wavelength) is so important for allowing your body to naturally generate melatonin, our bodies natural sleep hormone. It is important to get a quality pair of blue blocking glasses to ensure you block all the wavelength of blue and green light that can interfere with melatonin production. Many cheaper glasses will only block blue light making them less effective. BLUblox block all wavelength of blue and green light that have been shown in studies to interfere with the bodies natural melatonin production. And many cheaper glasses you don’t want to been seen wearing around your friends. BLUblox not only block out all the right wavelengths, but they are stylish too! They come in many styles and shapes.

I usually put my BluBlox glasses on around 5pm. Yep, 5pm! It is best to stop blocking all the blue light about 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow the body to naturally produce melatonin. With stylish blue blocking glasses you can start wearing them in the evening while still hanging out with friends. They even make a good conversation starter! You are biohacking your sleep. 🙂

So get yourself a gift and tag me when you wear your BLUblox glasses!

Click HERE to order yourself or your kids a stylin’ pair of BLUblox glasses!


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Christine Seucharan says:

    Hi Maria,. I am following your Ketogenic Cooking using an most of the food suggestions. I have lost about 5 pounds in two weeks. I am having lots of gas at night which is keeping me from sleeping. I had my gall bladder removed many moons ago. Can you help me figure out what I am doing wrong.
    Christine Seucharan

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