Study Finds that Insufficient Sleep Can Decrease Vaccine Effectiveness

Study Finds that Insufficient Sleep Can Decrease Vaccine Effectiveness

According to a new meta-analysis looking into the connection between sleep length and the body’s reaction to a vaccine, how well it protects you might rely on obtaining plenty of sleep in the days before and after the inoculation.

The new study, which was published on March 13 in Current Biology, found that sleeping less than six hours a night around the time of getting vaccinated was strongly correlated with a drop in antibody response.

Adults should normally aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night and less than that has many known negative effects.

That being said, this research includes information on the relationship between sleep duration and vaccination antibody reactions for hepatitis and influenza.

The team of researchers stated that their study underlined the need to discover straightforward behavioral treatments, like getting enough sleep, that might boost the response to COVID-19 immunization despite the current pandemic, even though comparable data on the COVID-19 vaccine were not available.

The decreased antibody response in individuals with limited sleep was so substantial it was equivalent to the reduction in COVID-19 antibodies 2 months following immunization with the Pfizer or Moderna injections.

Study co-author Michael Irwin explained that “We’ve previously found that cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as mindfulness, significantly improve insomnia and normalize various aspects of immunity, although it isn’t yet known whether insomnia treatments can augment vaccination responses.”

Since women normally show a higher vaccine response than men, the researchers also looked at the data by sex.

Men showed a strong relationship between sleep length and antibody response, but additional information about women is required, according to the researchers, because the trials did not account for changes in sex hormone levels, which are known to have an impact on immune function.

The scientists also mentioned that more large-scale research is also required to establish the ideal period for patients to receive enough rest before receiving vaccinations.


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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