A recent study conducted by Dr. Aric Prather, Ph.D and published in the Journal of Sleep shows that people who chronically get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, have a 11.5 fold increased risk of not actually being protected by their Hepatitis B vaccine. The study compared 125 people from 40-60 years of age who were all give the usual 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine and then their antibodies were monitored after the second and third doses as well as 6 months later. During this year the participants kept sleep diaries.
Dr. Prather found a link between the amount of time a person slept and the potency of the vaccine. This is interesting as a similar study also showed that if you are sleep deprived, then it takes a toll on your immune system as well. So with this information, maybe doctors should be asking about sleep and quality of sleep before giving vaccines. Also, educating patients that sleep is very important to their immune system and that this can affect their ability to manufacture antibodies against the vaccine. Subsequently this can affect their susceptibility to infections.
Therefore, even if you have had the 3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine, it’s important to have your antibody levels checked, especially if you routinely are getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night. If your antibodies are below the needed level for protection, you can get a subsequent booster and with better sleep patterns hopefully boost your immune response against the vaccine.
Once again, SLEEP is shown to be an integral part of maintaining good health.