You need to sleep well for good health

Harold Mandel's picture
Child sleeping

Researchers have found that the immune system is suppressed from chronic sleep deprivation.

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There is often a tendency in our fast paced world to downplay the vital importance of getting enough sleep. Far too often it seems there is a greater lure towards over-consumption of drinks with caffeine to hype you up than towards finding more time to relax and simply get some good quality sleep. This can turn out to be very harmful for your health.

The immune system is suppressed from chronic sleep deprivation

University of Washington Health Services reports the immune system is suppressed from chronic sleep deprivation. It's no wonder so many people report they often get sick when they don't get enough sleep.

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Researchers studied 11 sets of identical twins with varying sleep patterns. It was observed that there was a depressed immune system in the twin who got less sleep in comparison with the other twin. Lead author of the study, Dr. Nathaniel Watson, who is co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center at Harborview Medical Center, has said this research has showed the immune system functions most optimally when the person gets enough sleep. It has been recommended that you get seven or more hours of sleep for good health.

The researchers say that 31 to 55 percent of sleep duration and behavior is accounted for by genetics while the remainder is accounted for by behavior and the environment. Dr. Sina Gharib, the senior author of the study and director of UW Medicine’s Computational Medicine Core at the Center for Lung Biology, says this study has demonstrated for the first time that getting too little sleep chronically shuts off programs which are associated with the immune response of circulating white blood cells.

If a person who is sleep deprived is exposed to a rhinovirus there is greater likelihood they will get the virus

Watson says the findings in this study are consistent with research which has shown when a vaccine is given to sleep deprived people there is less of an antibody response. Furthermore, if a person who is sleep deprived is exposed to a
rhinovirus there is greater likelihood they will get the virus.

It has been reported in the journal Sleep habitual poor sleep is associated with a dysfunctional immune response. This helps explain a potential link between sleep deprivation and poor cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic outcomes. It's clearly important to prioritize sleeping well in the best interest of your immune health and your overall well being.

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