Our sleep is often disrupted whenever we feel unwell.
It's typically thought that the illness is responsible for any consequent sleep deprivation - however a study now suggests that our immune system may be to blame.
Researchers in the UK found that when they artificially activated the immune system in healthy fruit flies, sleep duration fell and memory performance suffered.
This suggests that the immune system itself is capable of reducing sleep time and sleep quality and as a result, memory ability is also impaired.
Not only could this study open up new areas of insomnia research, it also further strengthens the claim that sleep is important for learning and memory.
Last updated: August 20, 2014