To increase the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine, President, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Dr Kannan Ramar has said there is need to get a good night rest before taking the vaccine.
Ramar said what most people don’t know is that adequate sleep is an important factor in a strong immune system. He added that getting adequate, quality sleep on a regular basis strengthens your body’s immune system and optimizes your response to a vaccine.
A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that flu vaccines appear to be more effective in people who get a sufficient amount of sleep during the two nights prior to receiving the shot. Other studies have reported similar findings about patients’ response to vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Explaining the role of sleep in man’s daily activity, Dr Khurshid Khurshid, director of the UMMHC/UMMS Centre for Neuromodulation at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Westborough, said it boosts innate and acquired immune response is significant.
He added that all people, particularly health workers, should be aware of the immunity-boosting effects of sleep.
Another study has shown that normal sleep after vaccination strengthens the immune response against an invading antigen, and this immunity-boosting effect of sleep is clinically significant.”
Khurshid added in the news release, “A good night’s sleep before and after vaccination could be very advantageous.”
Adults should sleep at least seven hours a night, but the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed many people’s sleep, a recent AASM survey found.
One-third of respondents said their sleep quality has been affected, 30 per cent have had changes in their ability to fall asleep, and 29 per cent reported an impact on their nightly amount of sleep.
The AASM offered tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
Establish a bedtime and morning routine. Use the bedroom only for sleeping, not watching TV or reading. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and a bit cool.
Restrict blue light exposure before bed by turning off your TV and other electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Silence notifications and charge your devices away from your bed so you’re not tempted to look at social media or news alerts.
Limit alcohol, caffeine and large meals before bedtime. If you’re hungry after dinner, limit yourself to small, sugar-free and easily digestible snacks to avoid disrupting sleep.
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research also has an ongoing studies investigating the relationship between sleep and immunity and future planned studies to investigate sleep and vaccine efficacy.