Sleep Deprivation Effect On the Immune System Mirrors Physical Stress

Sleep Deprivation Effects Physical StressSevere sleep loss jolts the immune system into action, reflecting the same type of immediate response shown during exposure to stress, a new study reports.

Researchers in the Netherlands and United Kingdom compared the white blood cell counts of 15 healthy young men under normal and severely sleep-deprived conditions. The greatest changes were seen in the white blood cells known as granulocytes, which showed a loss of day-night rhythmicity, along with increased numbers, particularly at night.

"Future research will reveal the molecular mechanisms behind this immediate stress response and elucidate its role in the development of diseases associated with chronic sleep loss," said Katrin Ackermann, PhD, the study’s lead author. "If confirmed with more data, this will have implications for clinical practice and for professions associated with long-term sleep loss, such as rotating shift work."

Full story of sleep deprivation and stress and Science Daily

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Will Savage

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