Sleep boosts immune system 'memory' too
According to a recent study conducted in Germany, a good night's sleep not only strengthens your memory but also strengthens the response-memory of your immune system when it comes to killing bad bacteria and viruses as they enter your body. The immune system “remembers” an encounter with a bacteria or virus by collecting fragments from the bug to create memory T cells, which last for months or years and help the body recognise a previous infection and quickly respond. These memory T cells appear to abstract "gist information" about the pathogens and the selection of “gist information” allows memory T cells to detect new pathogens that are similar, but not identical, to previously encountered bacteria or viruses.
Key to good memory
A team of US researchers recently decoded how deep sleep -- also called slow-wave sleep -- is involved in promoting the consolidation of recent memories in our brain. The study found that during sleep, human and animal brains are primarily decoupled from sensory input. The brain, however, remains highly active, showing electrical activity in the form of sharp-wave ripples in the hippocampus part of the brain and large-amplitude slow oscillations in the cortex region. Traces of episodic memory acquired during wakefulness and initially stored in the hippocampus are progressively transferred to the cortex as long-term memory during sleep.
It can can cut stroke risk
Getting the right amount of sleep can significantly reduce the risk of stroke, suggests a study conducted by an American university. Researchers found that an average sleep of seven to eight hours can significantly decrease adults' stroke risk. The result showed that average sleepers -- those who slept seven to eight hours a night -- were 25 percent less likely to have experienced a stroke. Meanwhile long sleepers -- those who got more than eight hours a night -- were 146 percent more likely to have suffered a stroke and short sleepers, who slept less than seven hours a night, were 22 percent more likely to report having had a stroke.
Regular sleep reduces diabetes risk
Staying up late and not getting six hours of sleep puts one at high risk of becoming a Type-II diabetic, a disease once believed to be caused primarily by being overweight, prominent diabetes experts say. The doctors said that diabetes is just one among a number of other major health complications that includes high blood sugar, high cholesterol, extra fat around the midsection, high blood pressure and excess amounts of fats in the blood - precisely all together known as metabolic syndrome.
Sleep essential for healthy kidneys
Researchers at an American medical college discovered that shorter sleep duration can lead to a more rapid decline in kidney function. Many of the body's processes follow a natural daily rhythm or so-called circadian clock that is based on regular sleep-wake cycles. The study found that kidney function may be compromised when this natural cycle is disrupted.