Does Sleep Restore the Immune System?
An answer to the question as to why we sleep may be foundin a recent review article in the Journal of Allergy and ClinicalImmunology (December 2005). Individuals know intuitively thatthey sleep more when they are sick and that they need a certainamount of sleep to stay healthy. The findings summarizedin this article, gathered over the last 25 years, help to explainwhy—a link between the innate immune system and the regulationof sleep. Both ordinary sleep and sleep associated withan infection appear to be regulated by one or more of the >100cytokines synthesized by immune cells. The answer to thequestion about why individuals sleep may be, in part, to maintaintheir immune function.