Already more than 2500 years ago, Hippocrates – the forefather of modern medicine – pointed out that restful sleep is the best protection against infections caused by viruses. Science has long since confirmed that our immune system is strengthened, especially during sleep. In order for sleep to really protect us in our daily fight against pathogens and especially against viruses, both the duration of sleep of 7-8 hours and the quality of sleep with enough deep and REM (dream) sleep are important.
A study carried out by the German university hospitals of Tübingen and Lübeck has shown that just three hours of sleep deprivation are sufficient to significantly reduce the function of important immune cells. These are the “T-cells” that are important for the immune system. These are white blood cells that are responsible for fighting pathogens. These results clearly show that healthy sleep can greatly assist us in our daily fight against viral infections.