Donners AA, Tromp MD, Garssen J, Roth T, and Verster JC. Perceived immune status and sleep: A survey among Dutch students. Sleep Disord 2015; 2015:721607.
Reduced immune functioning may have a negative impact on sleep and health, and vice versa. A survey among Dutch young adults (18-35 years old) was administered to collect information on perception of reduced immunity and its relationship to sleep disorders, sleep duration, and quality. Sleep disorders were assessed with the SLEEP-50 questionnaire subscales of sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorder, and daily functioning. Dutch young adults (N = 574) completed the survey. Among them, subjects (N = 209; 36.4%) reported perceived reduced immunity. Relative to those with a normal immune status, subjects reporting reduced immunity had significantly higher scores (p = 0.0001) on sleep apnea (2.6 versus 3.6), insomnia (5.1 versus 6.8), and circadian rhythm disorder (2.1 versus 2.7). Subjects reporting reduced immunity also had significantly poorer daily functioning scores (5.4 versus 7.6, p = 0.0001). No differences were observed in total sleep time, but those reporting reduced immunity had significantly poorer ratings of sleep quality (6.8 versus 7.2, p = 0.0001). Our findings suggest that perceived reduced immunity is associated with sleep disturbances, impaired daily functioning, and a poorer sleep quality. Experimental studies including the assessment of immune biomarkers and objective measures of sleep (polysomnography) should confirm the current observations.