Immune function 101: Sleep and the immune system.

More sleep equals better immunity?

Sleep is a known regulator of immune function. The body produces more growth hormone and less cortisol during sleep. Growth hormone stimulates the immune system while cortisol inhibits it.

In this study, published in the Journal of Immunology, the researchers utilized sleep as an adjuvant to virus vaccination (vs. a control group that stayed awake post-vaccination). Sleep was found to improve the immune response in various ways.