Quick Study: Getting More Sleep Helps Vaccines Do Their Job

Not sleeping enough could affect your immune system, researchers find.

sleep, sleep deprivation, immune system

Sleep deprivation may make you more than tired--it could lower your immune system, a study finds. (Photo: Thinkstock Images/Getty Images)

Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

The study: Not getting enough sleep may negatively affect your immune system. A study in the journal Sleep gave 125 healthy adults age 40 to 60 a three-dose hepatitis B vaccine and monitored their antibody levels afterward. Those who slept fewer than six hours a night had fewer antibodies compared with those who slept seven-plus hours a night. Researchers concluded that the shorter sleepers were 11.5 times more likely to be unprotected by the vaccine than their counterparts who got a full forty winks.

What we already know: Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked in other stories with a number of serious health issues, such as a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

What it means for you: Getting enough sleep is not a priority for many people who claim that family and work commitments keep them from hitting the sack. But mounting scientific evidence—including this study—suggests that getting consistent adequate amounts of sleep is essential for maintaining good health.

Do you find it difficult to get enough sleep every night? Let us know in the comments.

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