Lack of sleep can make vaccines less effective: Study

Washington: A good night`s sleep of at least six hours is not only essential for your health but also for vaccines to take effect, according to a new study.

Researchers led by University of California-San Francisco found that sleep duration is directly tied to vaccine immune response and sleeping for less than six hours can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines taken by the body.

To explore whether sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and sleep quality assessed at home and not in a controlled sleep lab would impact immune processes important in the protection against infection, the researchers investigated the antibody response to hepatitis B vaccinations on adults in good health.

The study involved 125 people, 70 women and 55 men between the ages of 40 and 60. All were non-smokers in relatively good health, and all lived in Pennsylvania, the study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh.

Each participant was administered the standard three-dose hepatitis B vaccine; the first and second dose were administered a month apart, followed by a booster dose at six months.

Antibody levels were measured prior to the second and third vaccine injection and six months after the final vaccination to determine whether participants had mounted a "clinically protective response."

All the participants completed sleep diaries detailing their bedtime, wake time and sleep quality, while 88 subjects also wore electronic sleep monitors known as actigraphs.

The researchers found that people who slept fewer than six hours on average per night were far less likely to mount antibody responses to the vaccine and thus were far more likely (11.5 times) to be unprotected by the vaccine than people who slept more than seven hours on average.

Sleep quality did not affect response to vaccinations. Of the 125 participants, 18 did not receive adequate protection from the vaccine.

"With the emergence of our 24-hour lifestyle, longer working hours, and the rise in the use of technology, chronic sleep deprivation has become a way of life for many Americans," said lead author Aric Prather clinical health psychologist at the University of California-San Francisco, who led the study, while at the Pittsburgh University.

"Sleeping fewer than six hours conferred a significant risk of being unprotected as compared with sleeping more than seven hours per night," the researchers said in a statement.

The study will be published in the journal SLEEP.