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Another reason to get enough zzz's

"That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep."

- Aldous Huxley

Ahh sleep. It feels great. We know that it is essential for memory formation, wound healing, and building up the immune system, but did you know that sleep deprivation can even affect stem cells?

According to a recent study by Stanford University School of Medicine, depriving stem cell donors of sleep poorly effects the efficiency of a stem cell transplant. The study, which was published in Nature Communications, reported that the hematopoietic stem cells from sleep deprived donor mice were 50% less efficient at engrafting than well rested mice. In other words, the researchers injected both the sleep deprived donor mice cells and well rested donor mice cells and assessed their prevalence and migration patterns.

The results were astounding. The well rested donor cells significantly engrafted better. In other words, a greater percentage migrated to the recipients' bone marrow and a higher percentage matured into myeloid cells.

Can the effects be reversed if you get enough sleep?

Interestingly, the researchers reported that restoring sleep resulted in drastic differences for the better.

Take home message: sleep is important!​

Further reading

Rolls, Asya, Wendy W. Pang, Ingrid Ibarra, Damien Colas, Patricia Bonnavion, Ben Korin, Craig Heller, Irving Weissman, and Luis De Lecea. "Nature Communications." Sleep Disruption Impairs Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Mice (2015): n. pag. Nature. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

"Sleep Deprivation Affects Stem Cells, Reducing Transplant Efficiency." News Center. Stanford University Medical Center, 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.

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