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Friday, November 16, 2012

Severe Sleep Loss Affects Immune System Like Physical Stress Does

Sleep deprivation and physical stress have similar effects on the immune system of human beings, and both physical stress and severe sleep loss jolt the immune system into action.

The scientists, from Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, compared the number of white blood cells in 15 healthy young adult males who were subjected to normal sleep and severe sleep loss. The greatest impact was on granulocytes - types of white blood cells - which lost their day-to-night time rhythmicity as numbers shot up, especially during nighttime.

The scientists had found a link between lack of sleep and the development of certain diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and obesity. Other studies have demonstration that adequate sleep helps keep the immune system working properly and that long-term sleep loss is a major risk factor for immune system problems.

What are ganulocytes?
A granulocyte is a type of white blood cell that is full of microscopic granules - tiny sacs that contain enzymes for digesting microorganisms. Granulocytes form part of our innate immune system. Experts say they have a broad-based immune activity - they are nonspecific. Granulocytes are not like B-cells and T-cells which respond exclusively to specific antigens. There are different types of granulocytes, including eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils; they get their names from their staining features in the lab.

Several problems associated with lack of sleep or sleep difficulties

Sleep deprivation and bad food choices - Investigators from the University of California demonstrated how sleep deprivation can undermine regions in the brain which are responsible for making food choices. They explained that their findings might explain why sleep deprivation is linked to a higher risk of becoming obese.
Lack of sleep and stroke risk - Normal weight adults who sleep less than six hours per night have a much greater risk of stroke symptoms during middle-to-older age than normal weight people who sleep more hours, researchers from the University of Alabama reported.

Sleep deprivation and anxiety - Scientists from the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that sleep deprivation considerably exaggerates how much we anticipate impending emotional events, especially among those who are already highly anxious individuals.
Lack of sleep and the appeal of junk food - people who have not had enough sleep and have "tired brains" are more likely to find junk foods appealing, researchers from Columbia University in New York, revealed.

Too many workers not sleeping enough - according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about one third of all workers in the USA are sleeping for less than six hours each day, instead of the recommended 7 to 9 hours. People especially at risk of not getting enough sleep included those working in health care, social assistance, transportation and warehousing sectors - many of them on shift-work.

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Herryponting said...

Deprivation Affects Immune System Like Stress. The immune system is altered in similar ways by lack of sleep and physical stress, pointing ... monitored changes that occurred in a type of white blood cell after severe lack of sleep.
American Biosciences Immpower AHCC

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