Sleep and Immunity

Sleep and Immunity

Evidence continues to mount that your mother was right all along – not enough sleep leads to more colds and flus. Here’s one piece of that puzzle: not having enough sleep measurably blunts how well the body responds to the flu vaccine, according to a fascinating study published in the September 25, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This study was done in healthy young adults. Half of them slept only 4 hours a night for 6 nights, while the other half slept normally. Flu vaccines were given on the 5th day. Blood tests ten days later revealed that the sleep-deprived group averaged less than half the antibodies against flu enjoyed by the well-rested group!

Nevertheless, catching up on sleep can make a difference. A month later, there was no difference in levels of immunity between the two groups.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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