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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2015, Article ID 721607, 5 pages
Research Article

Perceived Immune Status and Sleep: A Survey among Dutch Students

1Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, Netherlands
2Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
3Nutricia Research, Uppsalalaan 12, 3584 CT Utrecht, Netherlands
4Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia

Received 5 May 2015; Accepted 18 August 2015

Academic Editor: Liborio Parrino

Copyright © 2015 Anouk A. M. T. Donners et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reduced immune functioning may have a negative impact on sleep and health, and vice versa. A survey among Dutch young adults (18–35 years old) was administered to collect information on perception of reduced immunity and its relationship to sleep disorders, sleep duration, and quality. Sleep disorders were assessed with the SLEEP-50 questionnaire subscales of sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorder, and daily functioning. Dutch young adults (N = 574) completed the survey. Among them, subjects (N = 209; 36.4%) reported perceived reduced immunity. Relative to those with a normal immune status, subjects reporting reduced immunity had significantly higher scores on sleep apnea (2.6 versus 3.6), insomnia (5.1 versus 6.8), and circadian rhythm disorder (2.1 versus 2.7). Subjects reporting reduced immunity also had significantly poorer daily functioning scores (5.4 versus 7.6, ). No differences were observed in total sleep time, but those reporting reduced immunity had significantly poorer ratings of sleep quality (6.8 versus 7.2, ). Our findings suggest that perceived reduced immunity is associated with sleep disturbances, impaired daily functioning, and a poorer sleep quality. Experimental studies including the assessment of immune biomarkers and objective measures of sleep (polysomnography) should confirm the current observations.