WEDNESDAY January 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Want to get the most out of your COVID-19 vaccine? Make sure you get plenty of rest before getting the shot, sleep experts say.
Indeed, adequate sleep is an important factor in a strong immune system.
“As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, it is of the utmost importance that patients continue to prioritize their sleep to maintain optimal health,” said the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM ), Dr Kannan Ramar in an academy press release. “Getting enough, quality sleep on a regular basis strengthens your body’s immune system and optimizes your response to a vaccine.”
Several studies have found an association between sleep and vaccine response. For example, a 2020 study in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine have found that influenza vaccines seem more effective in people who get enough sleep the two nights before the vaccine. Other studies have reported similar results on patient response to hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
Dr Khurshid Khurshid is Director of the UMMHC / UMMS Center for Neuromodulation at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Westborough, Massachusetts. He said: “The role of sleep in stimulating the innate and acquired immune response is important. All people, especially health workers, should be aware of the effects of sleep on immunity. Studies have shown that normal sleep after vaccination enhances the immune response against an invading antigen, and this immune-boosting effect of sleep is clinically significant. ”
Thus, Khurshid added in the press release: “A good night’s sleep before and after the vaccination could be of great benefit.”
Most adults should sleep at least seven hours a night, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the sleep of many Americans, according to a recent AASM survey.
One-third of respondents said their sleep quality had been affected, 30% had changes in their ability to fall asleep, and 29% reported an impact on their nighttime sleep.
The AASM offered tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Establish a morning and bedtime routine. Use the bedroom only for sleeping, not for watching TV or reading. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little cool.
- Limit exposure to blue light before bed by turning off your TV and other electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Turn off notifications and charge your devices away from your bed so you won’t be tempted to watch social media or news alerts.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bed. If you’re hungry after dinner, limit yourself to small, sugar-free, easy-to-digest snacks to avoid disrupting sleep.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19 vaccines.
SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, press release