Infectious Disease

evening’s sleep can enhance the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine

February 08, 2021

4 min read

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, getting a good night’s sleep before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine can boost the immune response.

The Society noted that previous research on other vaccinations has shown the benefits of good quality and quantity of sleep before and after vaccination.

Healio Primary Care spoke to the AASM President Kannan Ramar, MBBS, MD, Learn about the evidence on how sleep can improve the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines and tips primary care physicians can offer patients to help them get a good night’s sleep.

Q: How does sleep loss affect immunity?

ON: In July 2020, the AASM conducted a survey and found that roughly one in five Americans, or about 19%, said they slept less at night during the current pandemic, and 22% said their quality of sleep was actually worse than it was before the pandemic. As COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed for administration, it is important that people continue to get enough sleep to produce an optimal immune response. The AASM recommends that adults should sleep an average of 7 hours or more regularly to promote optimal health. This helps build a strong immune system, along with other benefits that come with proper sleep.

When it comes to sleep loss and immunity, there are several studies that have found an association between length of sleep and vaccination response. There is a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine that found that the flu vaccine appears to be more effective in people who got enough sleep 2 nights before receiving the vaccine than in people who did not have enough sleep. Similarly, in an older study that looked at patients’ response to hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines, they found that shorter sleep lengths before and after vaccination with a lower antibody response and a decreased likelihood of protection Hepatitis A and B is linked. These research results clearly suggest that sleep plays a role in strengthening innate and adaptive immune responses.

Q: What evidence suggests that healthy sleep can improve the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines?

ON: Unfortunately, there is currently no direct evidence that sleep boosts the immune response to COVID-19 vaccinations. Since we have data that shows that a good night’s sleep – both quantitatively and qualitatively – builds and strengthens the innate and acquired immune system, in my opinion it can easily be transferred to the COVID-19 vaccinations. As I pointed out earlier, we don’t have any direct evidence yet and hopefully there will be studies on this that will provide direct evidence later. Previous studies have shown the link between sleep and the immune system. I think it’s important to see this through at this stage.

Q: Should PCPs advise patients to get a sound sleep before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

ON: It is a resounding yes to this question. I think it is always important that patients practice healthy sleep hygiene and get their best sleep in terms of both quality and quantity of sleep.

Q: What tips can doctors give patients to help them sleep soundly?

ON: I believe people with insomnia should be aware of their immune health. I would recommend that they look at the CDC guidelines and prioritize to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. And as we mentioned earlier, AASM recommends that adults should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep on average on a regular basis. How do we do it best? First of all, it is important to establish a bedtime and a morning routine. This nightly routine usually results in rest and relaxation and this can be relieved by reading, recording, or even meditating for a few minutes. It is important that the area around the bedroom is a little cooler and darker. Second, it must be ensured that the bedroom has space to sleep. This includes limiting noise and distractions, and using the bed only for sleeping. So don’t watch TV or read a book. I think that would be better outside of the bedroom and when you get tired or about to go to bed close the book, watch TV, and then go into the bedroom. Third, it establishes limits for exposure to blue light. With advances in technology, it is important to have a self-induced curfew by turning off the television and especially electronic devices at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This eliminates the blue light exposure that can otherwise delay falling asleep and causes the body clock to be postponed to a later bedtime and wake-up time. Fourth, limit alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bed. Avoiding caffeine after 2pm is ideal, even better after lunch. It is important to avoid alcohol just before bed. Having alcohol in small to moderate amounts is fine, but it is ideal to have it 1 to 3 hours before bed. If it’s too close to bedtime, it can affect the quality of sleep. Likewise, having a large meal before bed is not ideal. You should have at least 2 to 3 hours after dinner to be able to go to bed as you don’t want to go to bed on a full stomach as this can also disrupt sleep.

Q: is there anything else you want to add?

ON: It will be important to have good sleep the night before and after vaccination. If people want to learn more about it, they can visit sleepeducation.org.

Unfortunately, people definitely suffer from stress, worry, financial hardship and the loss of loved ones during the pandemic, which unsurprisingly affects the quantity and quality of sleep. Prioritizing sleep as a priority of exercise and diet will therefore be important to optimal health and be able to fight the pandemic we are in.

References:

ADD SUBJECT TO EMAIL ALARMS

Receive an email when new articles are published

Please enter your email address to receive an email when new articles are published . “data-action =” subscribe “> subscribe

We could not process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this problem, please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Back to Healio

COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Related Articles