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Sleeping too little or too much may increase the risk of infection

Original Research: Emily Henderson

Summarized By: Neurobit

According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, scientists at the University of Bergen have discovered new evidence indicating that a good night's sleep can make individuals less vulnerable to infection. The researchers recruited medical students to distribute short questionnaires to patients in doctors' surgeries, asking about their sleep quality and recent infections. The results showed that patients who reported sleeping too little or too much were more likely to report a recent infection. Patients who experienced chronic sleep problems were also more likely to report needing antibiotics.

The study collected 1,848 surveys across Norway, which asked people to describe their sleep quality, how long they typically slept, how well they felt they slept, and when they preferred to sleep. The survey also contained a scale that identified cases of chronic insomnia disorder. The scientists found that patients who reported sleeping less than six hours a night were 27% more likely to report an infection, while patients sleeping more than nine hours were 44% more likely to report one. Chronic insomnia or less than six hours of sleep also raised the risk of needing antibiotics to overcome an infection.

Dr. Ingeborg Forthun, a corresponding author of the study, stated that poor sleep can make an individual more susceptible to infection. She also noted that increased awareness of the importance of sleep, not only for general well-being but for patients' health, is needed both among patients and general practitioners. Although the study had potential bias, the researchers stated that their study design allowed for the collection of data from a large study group experiencing real-world conditions.


Henderson, E. (2023, March 2). Sleeping too little or too much may increase the risk of infection. News Medical. Retrieved March 2, 2023, from

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