Lack of sleep decreases immune system effectiveness — ~30% drop in Natural Killer T cell activity | Matthew Walker
Natural killer cells are critical components of the body's immune response, serving as the first line of defense against cancer cells, microbes, and other potential threats. A single night of poor sleep can impair natural killer cells' activity by as much as 70 percent. In the short term, this can put us at risk for developing acute illnesses like colds and flu, but in the long term, it increases our risk for much more serious threats, such as cancer. In this clip, Dr. Matthew Walker describes the deleterious effects that poor sleep has on the immune system.
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