A new study published last week in Sleep sheds new light on the connection between sleep and susceptibility to infection.
Researchers gave 125 adults between the ages of 40-60 the standard three shot vaccination series against Hepatitis B over a period of six months, and monitored their sleep with diaries and actigraphy (a motion sensor worn on the non-dominant hand). Also assessed was the women’s response to vaccination by measurement of their antibody levels.
The researchers found that shorter sleep (identified in the sleep diaries and by actigraphy) was associated with decreased response to the vaccinations, and increased risk of infection in the future.
I think this study is interesting because it shows how not getting enough sleep increases your long term risk of infection, in addition to the increased short term risk of infection which has already been shown. Bottom line: make sure to get enough sleep if you want to stay healthy.
Dennis Rosen, M.D.
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