Get a good nights sleep before your COVID jab
How well your body responds to the COVID-19 vaccine may depend on what kind of shape you’re in — both mentally and physically.
The vaccine may not be as effective if you’re stressed out, anxious, depressed, sedentary or not eating right.
How Sleep Impacts Vaccines
Vaccines work by exposing the immune system to a small protein fragment from the particular virus or bacterium so that our immune systems can learn to produce antibodies specific to those pathogens and fight them off.
Sleep (or a lack of) can impact how well our immune system functions, including antibody production. That means vaccines may be more (or less!) effective in our bodies depending on whether we’re well-rested or sleep-deprived, especially around the time of the shot.
In March 2020, scientists published the results of a study on 83 young adults who kept sleep diaries two days before and 11 days after getting the flu vaccine. The researchers tested participants’ blood one month and four months after the vaccine and found that those with a shorter average sleep duration (especially in the two nights before the shot) developed fewer antibodies to the flu virus compared with those who slept longer.
The hormones produced while we sleep, specifically an increase of the growth hormone prolactin and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol may facilitate certain immune responses, such as antibody production after a vaccine. Without enough quality sleep, the body’s ability to build a defence against certain diseases seems to be limited.
How Much Sleep to Get Before a Vaccine
National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.
For more on the importance of sleep and how to get the most from it read our blog here: https://www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/loss-of-sleep?rq=sleep