The natural illness remedy: sleep

Friday, May 02, 2014 by: J. Anderson
Tags: sleep, natural remedy, illness

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(NaturalNews) You can take the medication and you can eat the right foods, but many people believe that the best way to get over being sick is by sleeping and being well-rested. Now, recent research published in the journal SLEEP backs this commonly held belief; the best natural remedy for a speedy recovery from an illness is to get as much sleep as possible!

The Study

Dr. Julie Williams, research associate on the project, said, "It's an intuitive response to want to sleep when you get sick... but there is surprisingly little experimental evidence that supports the notion that more sleep helps us to recover. We used a fruitfly model to answer these questions." By modeling the recovery of sick fruit flies (either sleep-deprived or allowed to sleep), the researchers found the first evidence that sleeping can actually help induce a faster recovery by enhancing the response of the immune system. Dr. Williams explained, "increased sleep somehow helps to facilitate the immune response by increasing resistance to infection and survival after infection."

Sleep and the Immune System

Science has shown that poor sleep can lead to some disruptions in the immune system. For instance, it has been shown that poor sleep during pregnancy can result in disruptions in the immune system which have been linked to lower birth weights (among other complications). In fact, science has shown that lack of sleep can actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and even cardiovascular diseases all due to disrupting the immune system and causing an inflammatory response! The SLEEP study brings all of these studies together by indicating not only that sleep affects the immune system but that sleeping more when sick can speed up the recovery process.


It seems that research now does back the notion that sleep can be the best road to recovery, as Dr. Williams noted, "The take-home message from these papers is that when you get sick, you should sleep as much as you can -- we now have the data that supports this idea." Next time you are feeling under the weather, it might be a good idea to just stay home and get some quality, immune-system-enhancing sleep!

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