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Medicine

Sleep boosts immune system

A U.S. study that analyzed blood samples from 11 sets of identical twins with different sleep patterns suggests that getting more sleep can be good for the body’s defense system (Sleep, January 25, 2017). The twin who slept less displayed a depressed immune system as compared to the twin who slept more. “The results are consistent with studies that show when sleep-deprived people are given a vaccine, there is a lower antibody response,” says Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center and study coordinator. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over the past century, Americans began getting 1.5 to 2 fewer hours of sleep per night.

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