A new research determined that sleep deprivation could actually lead to a weakened immune system. The result was based on the sleep patterns and immune responses of 11 pairs of twins.
The fact that sleep is important is not new. Previous studies have linked sleep deprivation with various potential health problems. Still, getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night seems to have turned into an achievement of its own. However, a new study may determine people to try harder to reach this goal.
Research on the matter was carried out by University of Washington researchers. They are part of the UW Medicine Sleep Center at the Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Nathaniel Watson, the center’s co-director, was the lead author.
The study was released earlier this month. It was published in the Sleep Journal. Available online since January 25, it is titled as follows. “Transcriptional Signatures of Sleep Duration Discordance in Monozygotic Twins”.
Study data was gathered from tests on 11 pairs of identical twins. Their sleep patterns were analyzed. As were their immune system responses. Identical twins were specifically used for a very important reason. And that is genetics.
Studies show that 31 to 55 percent of a person’s sleep duration can be explained by genetics. The remaining percentage can be explained by the environment and behavior.
The involved researchers released a statement. According to them, the current study observes sleep deprivation in “real world” conditions. As such, they studies the effects on the health.
And their sleep deprivation studies prove the following. People that sleep less have a weaker immune system. This was demonstrated thanks to the pairs of twins.
In most groups, one of them slept less than the other. The sleep deprived brother or system revealed a “depressed” immune system. This latter increased the appearance risk of several health problems.
These included cardiovascular and metabolic adverse reactions. And also potential inflammatory outcomes.
Dr. Watson, the aforementioned lead, also offered details. According to him, their study showed the body’s necessity for sleep. Even the immune system was shown to work better in such cases. People should try to get the recommended hours of sleep. These are in between 7 to 8 every day.
Watson also pointed out the following. Their research results are consistent with other sleep deprivation studies. A previous study showed the body’s reduced vaccine response.
Research showed that a well-rested person responds better to a vaccine. At the same time, sleep deprived persons have a lower antibody response.
As such, sleep deprivation may also lead to an increased chance of catching the rhinovirus. This latter is the most common viral agent. It is responsible for most common cold cases.
The current sleep-targeted emerged as the nation revealed a concerning trend. The Centers for Disease Control released a set of sleep patterns data. And according to it, the American population is sleeping less. The average sleep period decreased by an approximated 1.5 to 2 hours.
Around one-third of the Americans sleep less than 6 hours every night. This was calculated for the working population. According to the current study authors, this is also based on a modern trend.
They state that sleep has been deprioritized. And this trend has reportedly gained ground. The authors hope that their sleep deprivation study will draw attention to its importance.
Watson points out the sleep’s contribution to the immune health. And also to the overall state of well-being.
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