Researchers have long known of the relationship of sleep to our overall health, but the findings of the direct role sleep plays in our immune system function have some surprising implications. Of course, weakening our immune system through sleep deprivation makes us more likely to get colds or other garden-variety illnesses but it also plays a role in more serious conditions. For instance, it turns out that sleep deprivation even allows cancer to spread faster. Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Louisville found when mice were injected with cancer cells, those with sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality had more aggressive tumors and quicker growing cancer. “It’s not the tumor, it’s the immune system,” explained study director David Gozal, MD, an expert on pediatric sleep disorders and chairman of pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. “Fragmented sleep changes how the immune system deals with cancer in ways that make the disease more aggressive.”
On a happier note, according to a study by the Sorbonne University in Paris, even short, 30-minute naps were found to lower stress and boost the immune system.
Evelyn Gilkinson is the Nurse Lead for Charlton Health Inc. Before devoting herself solely to Infusing Biologics, Gilkinson worked at Toronto General Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre (Adelaide, Australia), and the London Health Science Centre in Thoracic Step Down, neonate, pediatric and adult Intensive Care, Recovery Room, and Emergency Medicine. Evelyn has done research for The Canadian Cervical Spine Study and with the AIM Health Group. She established the first out-of Hospital Infusion Centres in London and Waterloo. For the last twelve years, Evelyn was the Nurse Supervisor for South Western Ontario for many infusion sites until joining the Charlton team in the summer of 2016.