Sleeping less than 6 hours before and after vaccination reduces the effectiveness of the product, especially in men.
- Insufficient sleep before or after vaccination reduces the effectiveness of the product.
- The link between diminished immune response to the vaccine and lack of sleep is stronger in men.
- Optimizing sleep duration at the time of vaccination can stimulate the immune response.
Sleeping well is not only good for your form and your mood, it’s also good for your immune system. A study from the University of Chicago shows that insufficient sleep during the few days preceding and following a vaccination reduces the immune response to the product, and therefore its effectiveness.
Lack of sleep decreases the effectiveness of vaccines
Remembering a 2002 study that found that lack of sleep lowered their immune response to the flu vaccine, the scientists wanted to find out if this phenomenon was seen on other doses.
The meta-analysis, published in the journal Current Biology on March 13, 2023, brings together seven research studies that examined the impact of sleep duration on vaccination against viral diseases such as influenza and hepatitis. Researchers found that sleeping less than six hours in the days surrounding a vaccination led to a decreased immune response.
“Sleep deprivation is a behavioral factor that can be corrected before vaccination and can not only enhance, but also extend, the vaccine response”explains Eve Van Cauter, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and lead author of the work.
Vaccine and lack of sleep: men are more sensitive to it
The analyzes also showed that the two sexes were not equal in the face of this phenomenon. The link between lack of sleep and reduced vaccine effectiveness was more apparent in men than women.
The researchers suggest that this correlation is likely due to the fact that none of the studies in women took into account variations in sex hormone levels by menstrual cycle, contraceptive use and menopausal status.
“The link between sleep and vaccine efficacy could be a major concern for people with irregular work hours, especially for shift workers who typically have reduced sleep duration”adds Eve Van Cauter. “It’s something people should consider planning for, to make sure they get enough sleep the week before and after their shots.”
Covid: insufficient sleep causes two months of immunity to be lost
Using the results of the meta-analysis and comparing them to known data on the immune response to Pfizer’s covid vaccine, the team reasoned that insufficient sleep could cause a reduction in antibodies similar to what would be seen two months after receiving the injection.
“Interestingly, we found the same results for influenza, which is a respiratory virus, and hepatitis, which affects the liver, suggesting that this effect could extend to all kinds of viruses, including including coronaviruses like Sars-CoV-2”adds Karine Spiegel, first author of the study and researcher at Inserm, in a communicated.