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How a Lack of Sleep Affects the Immune System

Key Takeaways:

  • Adequate sleep has an important regulatory influence on cytokines — a type of protein involved in immune response.
  • Taking trusted vitamins and supplements can help support both a healthy immune system and a regular sleep schedule.*

When life is busy, sleep is often the first thing we give up. However, a lack of sleep does more than just make you feel grumpy the next day – it can have other effects on many bodily functions, including your immune system.

Let’s take a closer look at how a lack of sleep affects your immune system and how to keep both your immune system and your sleep schedule strong.


Effects of a lack of sleep on the immune system

You’ve probably found that when you are not feeling your best, you sleep more. Getting sufficient sleep supports the regulation of your body’s production of cell-signaling immune proteins called cytokines. Your body both produces and releases cytokines while you snooze, so it’s a double-whammy if you decide to skimp on sleep.

Not to mention that a lack of sleep can also contribute to stress and other health concerns.1 On the other hand, a good night’s sleep supports immune health, memory, a positive mood, energy, metabolism, recovery, and more.

Note: Getting enough sleep is only part of supporting a healthy immune system. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and taking immune-supporting supplements is also important.


How much sleep do you actually need?

Sleep powers the mind and restores the body. But how much sleep do you need to get these benefits and keep your immune system healthy?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Babies, children, and teens need more rest to support their growth and development, and adults over 65 should also get seven to eight hours per night.2 

However, it is essential to remember that the amount of sleep you need varies from person to person. Coexisting health issues, working a labor-intensive job, or irregular work hours may affect the amount of sleep you need. Pay attention to when you feel most well-rested, and try to repeat these habits. 


How to get the best sleep possible

Like anything, getting a good night’s sleep takes practice. Merely falling asleep at 3 am while watching television and then waking up at noon will not yield the benefits sleep has to offer. Instead, try these bedtime rituals: 

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time: Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day can create a rhythm for your body. Sleeping in even just a few extra hours one day can make it harder to fall asleep the following night and ultimately upset your internal clock.  
  2. Put away your screens at least one hour before bed: Giving your eyes a break from the harsh blue light of your phone, laptop, or television can help you fall asleep more quickly. Instead, try doing a calming activity before bed, like reading or light yoga. 
  3. Exercise regularly: Moving your body every day doesn’t just make you feel good, it can also improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise boosts the effects of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin, making it easier for you to fall asleep at the end of a long day.3 
  4. Manage stress:Occasional stress and anxiety can not only ruin your day, they can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Support your stress response by meditating, spending time with loved ones, or by taking a supplement.


    Stress Support Supplements

    Solgar® Stress & Anxiety Relief

    Solgar® Stress & Anxiety Relief helps your body better manage the disruptive symptoms of occasional emotional stress.*

    It does so by combining two powerful, clinically-studied ingredients KSM-66® Ashwagandha and affron® Saffron to bring you stress relief that is grounded in traditional wellness practices.*^†

    Solgar® Daily Stress Support

    Solgar Daily Stress Support combines the power of clinically-studied Rhodiola and PANMOL® B-Complex from organic quinoa sprouts to give you a 100% drug-free and non-habit-forming way to support your ability to deal with occasional mental and physical stress.*

    Each serving helps build your body’s resistance to stress, aid in your ability to deal with occasional mental and physical stress, and supports your ability to stay calm.*

    Solgar® Magnesium Citrate

    Magnesium is critical to hundreds of enzymatic reactions inside your body — and it can help with occasional stress and anxiety.* 

    This formula uses magnesium citrate, a highly-absorbable form of magnesium, so that your body can get as many of magnesium’s benefits as possible. 


Supplements to help you sleep

Sometimes you need a little extra help falling asleep. Thankfully, Solgar® has many supplements that can do just that. 

1. Solgar® Sleep & Stress Support 

Stress and sleep are very closely related. Stressful days can lead to sleepless nights, and sleepless nights can make your day unnecessarily stressful. 

That’s why Solgar® Sleep & Stress Support contains calming L-Theanine (an amino acid commonly found in Green Tea) plus a clinically-studied combination of three naturally-sourced herbs that work together to support sleep: Valerian, Passionflower, and Hops.* 

Solgar® Sleep & Stress Support is melatonin-free and contains a clinically-studied blend of sleep-supporting herbs, plus L-theanine for stress support* and helps with:

  • Relaxing and calming you*
  • Falling asleep quickly to get a good night’s sleep*
  • Improving sleep quality so you can wake feeling ready to take on the day*
  • Promoting rest throughout the night*
  • Occasional sleeplessness and occasional stress*

And, it’s non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free! 


2. Solgar® Triple Action Sleep

You don’t just want a supplement that helps you fall asleep — you want one that will help you stay asleep throughout the night!

Solgar® Triple Action Sleep leverages time-release technology that allows each layer of ingredients to dissolve at different times throughout the night to help support occasional sleeplessness.* This unique formula releases melatonin in the system when you want it, then gradually over 8 hours. This formula is clinically proven to mimic the body’s natural melatonin release profile.*

Just one tablet offers three layers of different benefits:

  • Calming L-theanine, an amino acid that interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to support a calm and relaxed mood, plus a nighttime herbal blend that includes lavender, lemon balm, and valerian root.*
  • Quick-release Melatonin: a naturally-occurring hormone that helps control your circadian rhythm and helps you fall asleep fast.*
  • Time-release Melatonin: clinically shown to supply melatonin gradually over 8 hours to support more restful sleep throughout the night.*

It’s also non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. 


3. Solgar® Liquid Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by your body that plays a role in your sleep cycle. Melatonin is released by the small pineal gland in the brain in the evenings to help trigger sleepiness.*

Solgar® Liquid Melatonin supports sound sleep with tasty dark cherry flavored drops to help you fall asleep faster.* And, they’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher!


Supplements for immune support


1. Solgar® Ester-C Plus Immune Complex

At Solgar®, we believe that your vitamin C should work as hard as you do. Our Ester-C® is the ONLY vitamin C with 24-hour immune support.*

Solgar® Ester-C® Plus Immune Complex gives you the ultimate combination of immune-supporting ingredients.*

Each serving contains a variety of science-backed ingredients, and its unique softgel form offers quick absorption.

Ester-C® Plus Immune Complex supports upper respiratory health and gives you*:

  • 1000 mg of clinically-studied Ester-C®
  • Vitamins A, D3, and zinc for additional immune support*
  • Elderberry, astragalus, and echinacea
  • Magnesium & a range of B-vitamins

And, it’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. 


2. Solgar® Zinc Picolinate

Zinc is essential to many of your body’s key functions. It’s an important trace mineral that can act as an antioxidant and plays a major role in many bodily systems — especially your immune system.*

This premium formula provides zinc in the highly-absorbable, chelated form of zinc picolinate so that your body can absorb so you can receive as many benefits as possible. 

And, it’s non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher!


3. Solgar® Vitamin D3 (10,000 IU)

Live in the northern hemisphere? Wear lots of sunscreen? Your body probably won’t produce enough of this “sunshine vitamin” on its own.* 

Aging also causes our bodies to struggle to produce and absorb Vitamin D.* Vitamin D helps support the immune system, among other things.*

Our convenient, oil-based softgels are easy to swallow and absorb.

And, this formula is non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. 


At the end of the day…

When it’s healthy, your immune system is also your support system, ensuring that you are healthy and capable of doing what you need to do. Getting adequate sleep is one of the best ways you can support your support system. So put down the phone, take your melatonin, and catch those z’s. Your body will thank you. 

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar site.

**Suntheanine® is a registered trademark of Taiyo International, Inc.

^KSM-66® is a registered trademark of Ixoreal Biomed Inc.

†affron® is a trademark owned by Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L.