"Modern society, with its control of light, omnipresent technology and countless competing interests for time, along with the zeitgeist de-emphasizing sleep's importance, has resulted in the widespread deprioritization of sleep," the authors wrote.
This study took 11 pairs of identical twins with differing sleep patterns and studying the impact those patterns had on their immune system. Researchers write that the twin who slept less tended to have a depressed immune system, leaving them vulnerable to getting sick.
"What we show is that the immune system functions best when it gets enough sleep. Seven or more hours of sleep is recommended for optimal health," said lead author Dr. Nathaniel Watson, who is co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center at Harborview Medical Center.