Will your sleep play a role?
Let me start by wishing everyone Happy New Year. While the crisis is yet not over, we have been through so much and we need to appreciate being able to do so. That said, we have vaccines and have begun a roll out schedule. So, while we are waiting for our turn at getting a shot, let’s explore how to make the most of a good thing happening.
We know from studies on other vaccines that sleep plays a significant role in vaccine effectiveness. The differences were surprising in reference to the hepatitis B vaccine, says researcher Aric Prather, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley.
“People who slept less than six hours on average were 11.5 times more likely to be unprotected after the vaccine than those who slept more than seven hours,” he says. Matthew Walker author of ‘Why We Sleep’, explains that good sleep hygiene is important. “Insufficient sleep in the week before getting a flu shot can lead to the production of less than 50% of the normal antibody response. A reaction that would render the flu shot largely ineffective,” he said.
Walker specializes in the relationship between sleep and human health at Berkeley. Researchers stress that sleep plays an important role in the regulation of the immune system. A lack of sleep, they said, may have detrimental effects on the immune system that are integral to vaccine response.
As sleep apnea sufferers, we are familiar with the many ways sleep can impair good health. In the face of finally having a tool to protect ourselves with going forward let’s do our best to make our shot the best shot we can by getting the best sleep we can before and after we get it. Watch our recent video with David J. Dausey, Ph.D. Epidemiologist and Provost at Duquesne University on the subject of vaccines, COVID and sleep.
Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.