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Sleep takes up a third of our lives and is crucial for body balance. It’s a key player in regulating our immune system. During sleep, it does the heavy lifting to keep it in check. When we skimp on sleep, it messes with our metabolism, leading to more C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumour necrosis factor – all these bad actors. They activate NF-κB, potentially putting us at risk for chronic inflammation and metabolic diseases.

Pro-inflammatory buddies like IL-1, IL-6, and TNF love non-rapid eye movement sleep. On the flip side, anti-inflammatory pals like IL-4 and IL-10, they’re not fans. They decrease it. Sleep even tinkers with our immune system by tweaking the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system.

And guess what? Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline follow a circadian rhythm. They like to take a break at night. This downtime actually helps the immune system do its job better.

So, what’s the bottom line? Sleep and the immune system are tight-knit buddies. Skimp on sleep, and you might wake up with more than just grogginess. Chronic inflammation and metabolic issues could be knocking on your door. So, make friends with your pillow, and let your immune system do its superhero work while you catch those Zzz’s.

Please always consult with your doctor if you have any health concerns.


Rico-Rosillo MG, Vega-Robledo GB. Sueño y sistema immune [Sleep and immune system]. Rev Alerg Mex. 2018 Apr-Jun;65(2):160-170. Spanish. doi: 10.29262/ram.v65i2.359. PMID: 29983013.

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