Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director at Harborview Medical Center’s UW Medicine Sleep Center notes that this research shows that the immune system is stronger when the individual gets plenty of quality sleep. He reminds readers that current data shows seven to eight hours to be recommended for optimal health. The unique attribute of this research was the employment of identical twins, rather than fraternal twins or individual adults, so scientists could control for the genetic disposition in the sleep duration of humans. Scientists note that genetics is responsible for about 31% to 55% of sleep behavior and duration, while environment and setting account for the rest. Senior author of the research and director of Computations Medicine Core at the Center for Lung Biology at UW Medicine, Dr. Sina Gharib, explains that current published research shows us that sleep deprivation, even when done for a short time in a laboratory setting, activates immune cells and increases the presence of inflammatory markers around the body. It is notable, however, that scientists do not completely understand the true effects of sleep deprivation in natural conditions in the long term. While the study used real world conditions and simulations, Dr. Gharib notes that this research shows us, for the first time, that chronic sleep deprivation negatively affects the immune response seen in white blood cells.
- 1Sleep deprivation may be tied to a weaker immune system.
- 2In a recent study of identical twins, the twin who had more sleep deprivation also had a weaker immune system than his or her sibling.
- 3This suggests that the immune system is stronger when an individual gets plenty of quality sleep.
Scientists note that genetics is responsible for about 31% to 55% of sleep behavior and duration, while environment and setting account for the rest.
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