Sleep deprivation is detrimental to the immune system

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to the immune system

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to the immune system, according to new research from UW Medicine Sleep Center at Harborview Medical Center.

Sleep deprivation has become an epidemic. The National Health Interview Survey shows that: “Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day in 2005-2007. In 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.”

Sleep is very important because it helps our body remove cellular wastes and toxins, and gives us energy for the day ahead. Lack of sleep has been known to cause weight gain and may even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Have you ever gotten sick because you didn’t sleep enough? Now, a new study shows why.

The research team looked at blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns and found that the twin with less sleep had a depressed immune system.

What we show is that the immune system functions best when it gets enough sleep. Seven or more hours of sleep is recommended for optimal health,” said lead author Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center.

What separates this study from others is that they used twins to get rid of any genetic anomalies. This is important, as the researchers noted that genetics account for 31 to 55 percent of sleep duration.

The results are consistent with studies that show when sleep deprived people are given a vaccine, there is a lower antibody response and if you expose sleep deprived people to a rhinovirus they are more likely to get the virus,” Watson said. “This study provides further evidence of sleep to overall health and well-being particularly to immune health.”

Modern society, with its control of light, omnipresent technology and countless competing interests for time, along with the zeitgeist de-emphasizing sleep’s importance, has resulted in the widespread deprioritization of sleep,” the researchers wrote.

The study showing that sleep deprivation is detrimental to the immune system was published in the journal Sleep.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Chronic Sleep Deprivation Suppresses Immune System.” NewsBeat UW Health Sciences. University of Washington, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
2. “Transcriptional Signatures of Sleep Duration Discordance in Monozygotic Twins.” Sleep. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.

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