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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

versión On-line ISSN 1561-3003


GONZALEZ NARANJO, Justa Elizabeth  y  RODRIGUEZ, Alcibiades. Sleep and immune response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2021, vol.58, e297.  Epub 01-Dic-2021. ISSN 1561-3003.


A close relationship exists between the immune system and sleep.


Present elements showing the relationship between the immune system and the sleep process.


A bibliographic review was conducted in online databases related to sleep alterations and the immune status. The publications selected were original papers about prospective or retrospective studies and review papers. The period analyzed covered 46 years: from 1974 to 2020.

Data analysis and integration:

The immune system and sleep are circadian processes governed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus which interact with one another modifying their mutual functions. Numerous studies agree that normal sleep enhances immune defenses, whereas sleep deprivation tends to lower them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, lifestyle changes have been described which include a reduction in the number of sleep hours, which may negatively impact an adequate immune response in the current context.


Regulation of the immune system and the sleep/wake cycle share a common circadian rhythm. A number of factors leading to sleep deprivation expose individuals to displaying unfavorable immune responses. Changes in our habits and customs caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic situation have led to the appearance of various sleep alterations in the population which may have a negative impact on our immune response.

Palabras clave : sleep; immune system; sleep deprivation.

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