Modern societies are experiencing an increasing trend of reduced sleep duration, with nocturnal sleeping time below the recommended ranges for health. Epidemiological and laboratory studies have demonstrated detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on health. Sleep exerts an immune-supportive function, promoting host defense against infection and inflammatory insults. Sleep deprivation has been associated with alterations of innate and adaptive immune parameters, leading to a chronic inflammatory state and an increased risk for infectious/inflammatory pathologies, including cardiometabolic, neoplastic, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review recent advancements on the immune responses to sleep deprivation as evidenced by experimental and epidemiological studies, the pathophysiology, and the role for the sleep deprivation-induced immune changes in increasing the risk for chronic diseases. Gaps in knowledge and methodological pitfalls still remain. Further understanding of the causal relationship between sleep deprivation and immune deregulation would help to identify individuals at risk for disease and to prevent adverse health outcomes.
- Disease Susceptibility
- Sleep Deprivation