PULLMAN, Wash. — Your mother was right; a good night’s sleep will keep you healthy. James Krueger, a Washington State University scientist who studies sleep, says adequate slumber appears to be a key factor in our ability to fight illness.

In recent studies, Krueger found that deep sleep, taken within a short period after infection, helped animal research subjects fight off illness and recover. Subjects with similar infections that did not get adequate sleep had more serious symptoms and did not recover. The non-sleeping subjects were mice with a genetic mutation that inhibits their ability to regulate sleep.

“This is an area that is largely understudied,” says Krueger. “There are many unknowns, and the National Institutes of Health are taking a keen interest in expanding research into the relationship between sleep and pathology.”

Krueger will discuss his research results during a conference at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The conference, titled “Science of Mind-Body Interactions: An Exploration of Integrative Mechanisms,” will be held March 26-28 and videocast live on the Internet at http://videocast.nih.gov. It will include presentations by other distinguished scientists from around the United States. The MacArthur Network on Mind-Body Interactions sponsors the conference.

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