Why Lack of Sleep May Weaken Vaccine Effectiveness

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Skimping out on sleep won’t just put you in a cranky mood. It may also reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, a new study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), suggests.

The authors say their study is the first real-world look at the link between sleep duration and immune response to vaccines. Rather than analyzing participants in a sleep clinic, the researchers tracked the regular day-to-day sleep patterns of their middle-aged participants and then studied them to see how strong an immune response they mounted to a standard three-dose hepatitis B vaccine.

People getting less than six hours of sleep per night on average were far less likely than longer sleepers to show adequate antibody responses to the vaccine, the researchers found, and so they were far more likely — 11.5 times more likely — to be unprotected by the immunization.

“This study shows clear evidence of a link between amount of sleep and an immune process relevant to infectious disease risk,” says lead author Dr. Aric Prather, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at UCSF and U.C. Berkeley.

Published in: Journal on August 3, 2012 at12:19 pm Comments (0)
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