Sleep and immunity in times of COVID-19

Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2020 Sep 21;66Suppl 2(Suppl 2):143-147. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.66.S2.143. eCollection 2020.


Background: Analyze how the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and its social restriction measures affect sleep quality and the immunological system.

Methods: An integrative bibliographical review was carried out using scientific articles from the last five years, from the PUBMED databases, with the descriptors: Sleep; Quarantine; COVID-19; Immunity; Mental Health. Besides the books "Oxford textbook of sleep disorders", "Cellular and molecular immunology", and "Treaty of Infectology".

Results: Sleep affects immunity. This happens through the regulation of immunological markers and their cells. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic can promote sleep disturbances and harm the immune system function.

Conclusion: Sleep exercises a direct influence on immunity maintenance and immunological response. Circadian rhythm alterations, associated with the psychological problems imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic compromise the quality of sleep and, for that reason, the immune system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological*