The Pastore Podcast
On Sleep & Immunity
Apr 24, 2020 · 57 min
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Dr. Pastore discusses the vital role sleep plays in immunity, how lack of sleep and poor quality sleep can lower your immune system, sleep duration guidelines for optimal health and steps you can take to improve your sleep. 

 

What is “poor” sleep [1:00]

  • Quality sleep for adults 7-9 continuous, uninterrupted hours of sleep per night 
    • Likely not possible for parents, like Dr. Pastore 
  • Teenagers require 8-10 continuous, uninterrupted hours of sleep per night 
    • 6.5 - 7 hours for teenagers can have same effect as being inebriated 
  • Sleep science still needs much more research 
    • Those staying home & safe during COVID-19 can cause COVID-19 dreams
      • Intense/horror dreams due to inability to normalize stress/anxiety during the day

 

Lack of quality sleep mentioned above is directly associated with higher likelihood of being sick after being exposed to a virus [3:55]

  • Studies on common cold 
  • Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep increases risk of getting a virus 

 

Lack of sleep impacted how fast you recover if you do get sick [4:40]

  • Dr. Pastore treating patients & working with other doctors treating patients with COVID-19, those recovering slower & have the virus longer have worse sleep 
    • 21 & 23 days of having the active COVID-19 infection 
    • Seen faster COVID-19 recovery of 9 days with better, quality sleep 

 

Quality sleep needs to be uninterrupted [7:05]

  • Difficult for parents waking up for children
  • 7-9 for adults, 8-10 hours for teenager straight 

 

Long-term poor quality sleep increase risk of obesity & diseases that further the risk for infections [9:05]

  •  
  • Medical fact: poor sleep causes cardiovascular disease, diabetes & obesity 
  • Cardiovascular disease, diabetes & obesity increase risk for infections such as COVID-19 or regular flu 
  • Inflammasome is byproduct of being overweight & obesity 
    • Proinflammatory response that can lower immune system 
  • Quality sleep drastically improves fat loss progress 
  • Lack of sleep (as little as 2-3 nights in a row) - cells become temporarily insulin resistant which causes elevation in glucose, can lead to weight gain & fat storage 
    • Chronic lack of sleep can make cells permanently insulin resistant 
  • Quality sleep improves cell-signalling communication between insulin receptor cells & GLUT receptors to let glucose into the cells 

 

Poor sleep lowers your immune system, makes it longer to recover from a virus, increases risk of diseases that can further lower the immune system, and can worsen health if pre-existing disease exists [13:00] 

  • We’re all biochemically & genetically unique 
  • Knowing genetics, medical history, biological markers, calcium score 

 

Why does decreased sleep lower the immune system? [14:55]

  • Sleep supports & enhances the initiation of an adaptive immune system response 
  • Adaptive immune system response process:
    • Trouble maker / invading antigen / virus invading body
    • Human immune system takes up antigen & appropriates it
    • Breaks apart the antigen & presents fragments of antigen to T Helper Cells
    • T Helper Cells signal cytokines Interleukin 12
    • Interleukin 12 calls in T-Helper Cell One Response, supports antigen specific T-Cells
    • T-Helper Cell 1 Response starts B-Cell production of antibodies to always be able to recognize the invading antigen / virus 
    • If the invading antigen is presented in the body again, the body will attack it 
  • Produced in the lymph nodes 
  • Vaccines are a great example of adaptive immunity, producing herd immunity 
  • Sleep turns this response on, lack of sleep turns it off
    • Immune cannot identify the invading antigen 
  • Sleep deprived hepatitis A vaccine patients vs quality sleep hepatitis A vaccine patients
    • Poor sleep patients did not have amplified adaptive immune system response to vaccine
  • Parents typically lose hundreds of hours of sleep 

 

Prescription medications to improve sleep quality [21:05]

  • Dr. James Maas, “Father of Sleep” & other sleep doctors confirm prescription sleep medications will not lead to a perfect night’s sleep or “sleep saviours”
  • Have seductive-type affects
  • Can affect memory & perception of sleep quality 
  • Our Neurochemistry of Sleep Podcast 
    • LINK
  • Be aware of side effects
    • Rebound insomnia
    • Dizziness
    • Headaches
    • Difficult swallowing or breathing
    • Worsening depression & suciride ideation
  • Study showed those with highest sleep medication prescriptions had highest risk of all-cause mortality 
  • Study showed increased risk of various cancers, increased risk of dementia 
  • Not getting into a deep sleep, interferes with glucose & cell receptor response 

 

Could be underlying issue or health concern causing lack of sleep [24:20]

    • Chronic pain & arthritis 
    • Breathing disorders 
    • Dietary supplements & stimulants (caffeine) close to bed 
    • Gastoresophorefluz disorder
    • Hypothyroidism, Graves Disease
    • Chronic back pain 
    • Sinus disorder or allergies 
  • Medications can disrupt sleep
    • Birth control
    • Cold medicine 
    • Asthma medication
    • High blood pressure medication 
    • Depression 
    • Thyroid medication
  • Talk to your doctor to find the underlying cause 
  • Pharmacogenetics - PGX 
    • Test genetics to determine drug response based on individual genetics 
    • Medications aren’t a one-size fits all
  • Could be nutritional deficiency 
    • Magnesium, Vitamin D
    • Request bloodwork from physician 
    • 40% population at risk for low magnesium 
  • Undiagnosed sleep apnea 
    • Temporarily stop breathing, adrenaline wakes you up 

 

Lifestyle changes to implement to improve sleep [29:30]

  • Address stress 
  • Get regular physical activity & exercise 
    • Exercise helps lower stress
  • Caffeine consumption
    • Genetic variations to process caffeine faster/slower
    • Avoid caffeine after 3-4PM 
    • Green tea, diet cola, soft drinks with caffeine 
  • Exposure to artificial light
    • Disrupts normal neurological signalling for sleep, turns off melatonin production
    • Can upregulate alert/excitatory neurotransmitters to keep you awake
    • Blue light blocking glasses
    • Night mode on electronics reducing blue light
  • Limit alcohol 
    • Sedative effect - can help you fall asleep initially 
    • Later in night, causes dopamine rush & interferes with adaptive immune response
    • More consistent alcohol consumption will continue to lower immune system nightly
  • Limit or eliminate nicotine 
    • Vaping, chewing tobacco 
    • Nicotine neurotoxin, extremely addictive
    • Makes it difficult to fall asleep 
  • Sleep in a cool bedroom 
    • Lower temperature helps with sleep

 

Melatonin for sleep [35:30]

  • Melatonin is both a hormone and neurotransmitter
  • Excreted from penial gland 
  • Exposure to natural light during day, as sun sets, darkness cues melatonin production
  • Helps stimulate our sleep - high affinity melatonin receptors in SCN 
    • MTA & MT1A, MT2 & MT2B receptors - absorbs melatonin & slows excitatory function to prepare for sleep 
  • Promotes sleep by stimulating acute inhibition of neurological firing of awake neurotransmitters in SCN
  • Helps initiate sleep process, but won’t benefit rest of sleep cycle 
  • Helps regulate circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycles)
  • Taking a “low” dose of 1mg of melatonin is still incredibly high compared to what the brain produces naturally  
    • Can produce “hangover” in the morning
    • Fatigued, tired, brain fog, delayed responses
    • Suppressing dopamine responses 
    • Receptors of SCN turned off way past sleep period 
    • Up to 18 hours of hangover
    • Walking wounded: feel better at 8-10PM and take another dose
  • High-dose (1mg+) melatonin should not be a nightly supplement for sleep 

 

Effective natural products for sleep do exist [40:50]

  • Dr. Pastore’s poor sleep practicing as a doctor, then being a father
  • Developed sleep supplement Power OFF for his own sleep issues as nothing else worked
  • We can provide you with the scientific paper Dr. Pastore wrote 
  • Help turn off excitatory neurotransmitters before bed to fall asleep
  • Help stay asleep without waking up  
    • Studies on theanine + 5 hydroxytryptophan shown to keep you asleep
  • GABA to help you fall asleep 
    • Most GABA can’t cross blood-brain barrier
      • Blood-brain barrier: only allows certain nutrients/neurotransmitters into the brain from the bloodstream to protect the brain 
      • Dr. Pastore used his PhD in nanomedicine to make GABA pass the blood brain barrier 
  • Magnolia plant - honokiol 
    •  Studies show honokiol primes receptor for GABA uptake
  • Combination of ingredients address mechanism of turning off cellular stress response constantly being fired by ephedrine (excitatory / awake neurotransmitter) at night 
    • Requires sulphur enzyme system - enzyme phenalethol…..help :) 
      • Cysteine & dimer to create cystine
  • Helps fall back asleep after interrupted sleep
  • Won’t prevent you from waking up if needed
  • Formula evolves as new studies & research comes out 

 

Antihistamines / Benadryl before bed [52:55]

  • Dangerous for long-term health
  • Harvard in 2005 urged doctors to advise patients to stop using antihistamines for sleep
  • Antihistamines reduce acetylcholine, which over time increases risk of age-related mental decline
    • Disrupts memory, cognitive sharpness, more forgetful 

 

Wrap-Up [55:15]

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