Sleep Increases Vaccines’ Effectiveness: Study

By IScienceTimes Staff Reporter on August 2, 2012 11:39 AM EDT

Injection
Make sure you get a full eight hours of sleep before you head to your doctor’s office to get your vaccines. A new study has found that some vaccines may not work as well for people if they do not get a good night’s rest beforehand. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Make sure you get a full eight hours of sleep before you head to your doctor's office to get your vaccines. A new study has found that some vaccines may not work as well for people if they do not get a good night's rest beforehand.

Researchers discovered that the Hepatitis B vaccine did not work as well for people who received less than six hours a night. Yet those who slept for seven hours or more were more adequately protected against the virus because their immune systems were more adept to handling the onslaught of the vaccine.

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"While there is more work to be done in this area, in time, physicians and other health care professionals who administer vaccines may want to consider asking their patients about their sleep patterns, since lack of sleep may significantly affect the potency of the vaccination," said Aric Prather, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco according to Yahoo! News.

Researchers gave the common three dose hepatitis B vaccine to 125 people aged between 40 and 60 who reported being in good health. Participants were given the first and second dose a month apart and a booster shot after six months.

The levels of antibodies -proteins that protect the body against infection- were measured after six months. Patients were also told to keep sleep diaries of when they went to bed and work up. Around 88 patients were monitored with electronic sleep monitors.

Researchers found that those patients who slept fewer than six hours a night were on average 11.5 times more likely to be unprotected by the vaccine, compared to those who slept seven or more hours nightly on average.

"These findings should help raise awareness in the public health community about the clear connection between sleep and health," Prather said according to Yahoo! News.

Previous studies have found that those with poor sleep habits are more susceptible to upper respiratory infections. However researchers have not yet found if sleep affects certain immune responses that protect against infections and viruses.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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