Sleep and Vaccination: The Critical Connection You Need to Know About

Vaccine Vial Syringe

A study by Scripps Research and eMed digital medicine shows a surprisingly high percentage of COVID-19 rebound cases in both untreated individuals and those treated with Paxlovid.

Better sleep could play an important role in the COVID-19 vaccination effort, new research suggests.

How strongly a vaccine protects you may depend on getting enough sleep in the days before and after inoculation, finds a new meta-analysis examining the relationship between sleep duration and the body’s response to vaccination.

Sleeping fewer than six hours per night around the time of vaccination was associated with a robust decrease in antibody response, according to the multi-institution study published today (March 13, 2023) in the journal Current Biology. Adults are typically recommended to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.

The meta-analysis included data on the association between sleep duration and antibody responses for the influenza and hepatitis vaccines. While comparable data on COVID-19 vaccination were not available, researchers said their study highlighted the need to identify simple behavioral interventions, such as sufficient sleep, that could improve the response to COVID-19 vaccination amid the ongoing pandemic.

Insufficient Sleep Is Associated With Weaker Antibody Response to Vaccination

This is a cartoon depicting the effects of insufficient sleep on vaccination. Credit: Spiegel et al.

The weakened antibody response in those with shortened sleep was so profound, it was similar to the decline in COVID-19 antibodies two months following vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots.

“We have previously found that cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as mindfulness, robustly improve insomnia and also normalize various aspects of immunity, although it is not yet known whether insomnia treatment can augment vaccination responses,” said Michael Irwin, MD, a study co-author and director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The researchers also examined the data by sex, since women typically have a stronger vaccination response than men. There was a robust association between sleep duration and antibody response in men, but they said more data are needed for women because the studies did not control for variations in sex hormone levels, which are known to affect immune function.

Large-scale studies are also needed to determine when people should get sufficient sleep to promote an optimal vaccine response around the time of inoculation, the researchers said.

Reference: “A meta-analysis of the associations between insufficient sleep duration and antibody response to vaccination” by Karine Spiegel, Amandine E. Rey, Anne Cheylus, Kieran Ayling, Christian Benedict, Tanja Lange, Aric A. Prather, Daniel J. Taylor, Michael R. Irwin and Eve Van Cauter, 13 March 2023, Current Biology.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.02.017

Other authors include Karine Spiegel, Amandine E. Rey, Anne Cheylus, Kirean Ayling, Christian Benedict, Tanja Lange, Aric A. Prather, Daniel J. Taylor, and Eve Van Cauter. The authors declared no competing interests directly related to this study.

2 Comments on "Sleep and Vaccination: The Critical Connection You Need to Know About"

  1. Charles G. Shaver | March 13, 2023 at 9:47 am | Reply

    First, of course, there is/was no Covid-19 pandemic, just another contrived and executed redistribution of working-class wealth to the rich, with added factors of mass population manipulation and/or population reduction. Then, even if the article describes serious scientific research, “…a new meta-analysis…” still fails to factor long-term chronic nearly subclinical non-IgE-mediated food (minimally) allergy reactions and/or officially (FDA in the US) approved food poisoning (namely added soy and MSG) in to the insomnia factor. The article did inform me of another female factor I was previously unaware of; variations in female sex hormone levels being known to positively impact their immune function. I’m now adding that to knowing that estrogen is protective against uric acid; why menopausal women are less likely to get gout than similar age males.

  2. Crazy unwaxed Renato from Europa | March 14, 2023 at 8:01 am | Reply

    Until now it was sad, but now it’s getting funny!
    Now they will convince the vaccinated that they have only themselves to blame for the fact that the vaccine does more harm than good!
    Well yes. Tomorrow they will tell you – if you had taken enough vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and magnesium, zinc, iron, etc., the vaccine would have worked well, and since your diet was not perfectly good, then for you this vaccine worked as Poison :-)))

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