Poor Sleep = Weak Immune System

Published: September 28, 2012

For years, animal research has shown that sleep deprivation causes immune suppression — which is one reason why poor sleep is suspected to be a key factor in the immune dysfunction and viral reactivation seen in CFS/FMS. A new study adds more evidence to the sleep/immune connection.

A study of medical residents (who can have shifts lasting days, during which they get very little sleep) showed that even just one night of poor sleep increased the likelihood of reactivation of the herpes virus.

This study is one more reason why it's important for CFS/FMS patients to use whatever therapies they need to get a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Not only will sleeping better improve your energy and decrease pain, it will also improve your immune function so that your body can clear out infections.

For information on addressing insomnia, see "Sleep and Insomnia."


"Fatigue in medical residents leads to reactivation of herpes virus latency." Uchakin PN, Parish DC, Dane FC, et al, Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis. 2011;2011:571340. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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