Health Check: three reasons why sleep is important for your health

Health Check: three reasons why sleep is important for your health

'Healthy sleep helps to maintain appropriate immune function. Sleep loss may lead to alterations in immune function, resulting in inflammatory disease, an increased risk of cancer and infectious disease.

One night of total sleep deprivation has been found to cause a reduction of natural immune responses. Total sleep deprivation has also been shown to elevate certain inflammatory markers that may lead to insulin resistance, heart disease and osteoporosis.

In one interesting laboratory study, partial sleep deprivation (six nights of only four hours' sleep per night) at the time of a vaccination was found to reduce the number of antibodies by more than 50% ten days after sleep-deprived participants received a flu shot. This shows that adequate sleep is needed for optimal response to infectious disease.' (My emphasis)

Siobhan Banks, Senior Research Fellow and Crystal Grant, PhD Student, Centre for Sleep Research, Centre for Sleep Research, University of South Australia explain how 'a growing body of research is beginning to show how habitual inadequate sleep might alter our physiology and lead to the development of chronic disease' :

With our ability to produced antibodies permanently impacted by our CLL, having enough sleep is obviously even more important for us.


Photo: This tawny frogmouth owl made the mistake of trying to get some sleep in the tree outside my bedroom window.  Obviously unable to sleep well with all the attention from curious passers by, I wasn't surprised to see the branch bare the following day...

2 Replies

  • Somehow the contents of your post do not surprise me Neil. I could sleep for England until I went through the menopause and since then really struggle to sleep more than 5 hours a night (could this have been the time when the CLL kicked in)? Who can know for sure.

    I have been on holiday from work this last week and have been able to go back to sleep after a short time for an hour or so and I feel so much better for that extra sleep.

    Back to work tomorrow and for the first time am thinking maybe I should retire.

  • Wow!  What an amazing bird - and a fantastic photo...  Thanks Neil... 

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