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The Link Between Sleep and Immune Health

Posted January 26, 2024

A Guide for Supplement Manufacturers

In today's health-conscious world, consumers are increasingly recognizing the impact of sleep on their overall well-being, mental health, and stress levels. Furthermore, they are now connecting the dots between quality sleep and a healthy immune system. According to FMCG Gurus, a staggering 50% of Americans have actively sought ways to enhance their sleep over the past year to boost their immunity.1

The Bidirectional Link Between Sleep and Immunity

It's not merely a coincidence – sleep and immunity share a bidirectional relationship. Activation of the immune system influences sleep patterns, and in turn, the quality of sleep significantly impacts the effectiveness of the body's defense mechanisms.2

Quality Sleep: A Pillar of Immune Health

With people spending about one-third of their lives sleeping, it's evident that sleep is a fundamental activity essential for health and well-being.3 During sleep, the body undergoes key processes of restoration and repair, eliminating toxins that accumulate during wakefulness.4

Sleep & Inflammation: A Balancing Act

Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to infection or injury. Sufficient sleep can help regulate the inflammatory response, limiting chronic inflammation that is often linked to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.5

Sleep contributes to the release of immune-signaling molecules called cytokines, which play a pivotal role in regulating immune cell activity. T-cells, a type of white blood cell crucial for fighting pathogens, exhibit enhanced activity during sleep. Disrupting this process through sleep deprivation can impair the immune response.6-8

Moreover, research suggests that the body's internal clock, controlling sleep-wake cycles, plays a critical role in optimizing immune system function.9

The Reciprocal Relationship: Immune Response & Sleep Quality

Just as sleep affects the immune system, immune responses influence sleep quality and quantity. Pain, discomfort, and fever – a natural immune response – can disrupt sleep, negatively impacting both its quality and duration.10

Restorative Sleep: A Key to Recovery

When the body is unwell, it demands more sleep to achieve the deep sleep necessary for diverting energy to the immune system. This increased need for sleep is associated with signaling molecules released by the immune and nervous systems, indicating the body's requirement for restorative sleep.11

Navigating Sleep and Illness: The Common Cold Connection

The common cold, causing symptoms like nasal congestion, disrupts sleep and is linked to shorter sleep durations.11 It can reduce total sleep time, decrease sleep efficiency, and negatively impact psychomotor performance.12

Circadian Rhythms and Immune Function

Sleep is intricately connected to circadian rhythms, which regulate specific immune functions. Short-term illnesses can disrupt these rhythms, affecting the body's ability to anticipate and combat microbial threats effectively.13

Prioritizing Sleep Health for Better Wellbeing

Consumers recognize the importance of sleep health for their overall well-being. In response to common illnesses or minor injuries, they employ various strategies such as hot baths, relaxation techniques, medication, increased fluid intake, and seeking medical advice.14-15

Kemin's Solutions for Sleep and Immune Health

Kemin offers naturally sourced solutions designed to support both sleep and immune health:

  1. DailyZz™: A proprietary botanical blend of sleep-promoting polyphenols for enhanced sleep quality and cognitive performance.16
  2. BetaVia™: Algae-sourced beta 1,3 glucans clinically proven to support the immune system safely.17
  3. FloraGLO®: Unesterified lutein derived from marigold flowers acting as an antioxidant to protect against cellular stress.
  4. Neumentix™: Spearmint extract clinically shown to support focus during the day without disrupting sleep and aid in falling asleep faster at night.18-20

If you're working on a sleep or immune health formulation, Kemin is your partner in developing innovative health and wellness products. Visit to discover how Kemin Human Nutrition & Health can elevate your sleep or immune health product.

Discover the potential of sleep for a healthier, more resilient immune system – because quality sleep is the foundation of better health.


Make the Connection: The Link Between Sleep and Immune Health

DailyZz™ for Better Sleep and Next-day Function

BetaVia™: Unlocking Every Body's Natural Defenses

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These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on this webpage is a business-to-business information and not intended for the final consumer. Certain statements may not be applicable in all geographical regions. Product labeling and associated claims differs based upon government requirements and country or region specific information should also be considered when labeling or advertising to final consumers.

This web page and its associated brochures and other documents do not constitute or provide scientific or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and are distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressly or implied. This web page, its title or contents and associated brochures and other documents do not in any way make recommendations for health or marketing claims by the reader. Country and region specific regulations should be considered in this regard. Each claim or statement about the effectiveness of Kemin products and/or each claim or statement comparing the effectiveness of Kemin products to the effectiveness of other products is expressly limited to the United States, unless otherwise disclosed on the Kemin websites.


  1. FMCG Gurus - Immunity Q3 2022 - USA report
  2. The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease, Luciana Besedovsky, Tanja Lange, and Monika Haack. 28 MAR 2019
  3. Straat et al Int J Public Health (2015) 60:643–650
  5. Garbarino S, Lanteri P, Bragazzi NL, Magnavita N, Scoditti E. Role of sleep deprivation in immune-related disease risk and outcomes. Commun Biol. 2021 Nov 18;4(1):1304. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02825-4. PMID: 34795404; PMCID: PMC8602722.
  6. Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 2, 2015.
  7. Journal of Experimental Medicine. “Gas-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigenspecific T cells.” February 12, 2019. Accessed on: January 7, 2022.
  8. Bollinger T, Bollinger A, Skrum L, et al. Sleep-dependent activity of T cells and regulatory T cells. Clin Exp Immunol. 2009;155(2):231-238. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03822.x
  9. Haspel JA, Anafi R, Brown MK, Cermakian N, Depner C, Desplats P, et al. Perfect timing: circadian rhythms, sleep, and immunity—an NIH workshop summary. JCI insight. 2020; 5(1)
  10. Krueger, J. M., & Opp, M. R. (2016). Sleep and Microbes. International review of neurobiology, 131, 207–225. PMC5441385/&sa=D&ust=1606782218249000&usg=AOvVaw3H50FTU_mlb5AVPF0hIV_j
  11. Ibarra-Coronado EG, Pantaleón-Martínez AM, Velazquéz-Moctezuma J, Prospéro-García O, Méndez-Díaz M, Pérez-Tapia M, Pavón L, Morales-Montor J. The Bidirectional Relationship between Sleep and Immunity against Infections. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:678164. doi: 10.1155/2015/678164. Epub 2015 Aug 31. PMID: 26417606; PMCID: PMC4568388.
  12. Drake CL, Roehrs TA, Royer H, Koshorek G, Turner RB, Roth T. Effects of an experimentally induced rhinovirus cold on sleep, performance, and daytime alertness. Physiol Behav. 2000;71(1–2):75–81.
  13. Scheiermann C, Kunisaki Y, Frenette PS. Circadian control of the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol. 2013 Mar;13(3):190-8. doi: 10.1038/nri3386. Epub 2013 Feb 8. PMID: 23391992; PMCID: PMC4090048.
  16. Tubbs et al., (2021) Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Polyphenol Botanical Blend on Sleep and Daytime Functioning. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(6):3044.
  17. Evans et al., (2019) Effect of a Euglena gracilis Fermentate on Immune Function in Healthy, Active Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(12):2926.
  18. Falcone et al, (2019). The attention-enhancing effects of spearmint extract supplementation in healthy men and women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. Nutr Res, 64, 24-38.
  19. Falcone, et al., (2018). Efficacy of a nootropic spearmint extract on reactive agility: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 15(1), 58. 
  20. Herrlinger, et al., (2018). Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory in Men and Women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment. J Altern Complement Med, 24(1), 37-47.