Concluding Remarks

The mutual influence of sleep on the immune system and viceversa is likely mediated in part by the HPA axis. Over or underproduction of cortisol results in disrupted immune function, leading to immunosuppression or immunostimulation, respectively. Glucocorticoids, in turn, also interfere with sleep in a bimodal fashion, and cytokines can also interfere with sleep quality. Therefore, this relationship among sleep, glucocorticoids and cytokines poses as a perfect model of psychoneu-roimmunology, in which elements of different systems interact as a manner to maintain a perfect balance. The importance of this closed system comes exactly from its frailty, for any disruption can lead to disease.

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