Research models show a strong interrelationship between sleep quality and immune function. The proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor α are classified as official sleep-regulatory substances. However, sleep-promoting properties are also possessed by several other immune and proinflammatory cellular classes. This article reviews the current physiologic evidence for the prominent somnogenic and sleep-regulatory properties inherent to these immune substances. Clinical examples of this relationship are discussed from the perspective of infectious and primarily immune-related conditions associated with significant sleep disruption and from the perspective of immune dysregulation associated with several primary sleep disorders.
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