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Research shows that sleeping for less than six hours reduces immune response to vaccines


Data suggests the decrease is comparable to the decline in Covid-19 antibodies two months after vaccination.

It is well known that people’s immune responses to vaccination vary depending on age, biological sex, and overall health. Previous research has also suggested that sleep duration may play a role, though the findings have been mixed.

Expert’s Opinion

Dr. Karine Spiegel, from the French National Institute of Health and Medicine in Lyon, accompanied by her colleagues, combined while also re-analyzed the results of seven studies involving vaccinating people against influenza and hepatitis A and B, both of which were caused by viruses. They compared the antibody responses of people who slept seven to nine hours per night to people sleeping less than six hours at night

The study, published in Current Biology, discovered solid evidence showcasing sleeping for less than six hours reduced immune response to vaccination in men. However, the effect was more variable in women, most likely due to fluctuating levels of sex hormones. When both sexes were considered, the impact of short sleep was comparable to the two-month waning period of the antibody response to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

End Note

The researchers stated, “If, like influenza and hepatitis vaccines, sleep disturbances around the time of Covid-19 vaccination may reduce antibody responses within the same range as those of waning of the response to the most widely prescribed vaccine over two months.”

They also discovered that insufficient sleep had a more significant immunological impact on adults aged 18 to 60 than on older adults. “Good sleep not only enhances it can also extend the duration of vaccine protection,” said senior study author Eve Van Cauter, an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago.

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