Good sleep: the secret to increasing the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccine
– Mathew Chandy and Arha Padman

The vaccination drive is slowly gaining ground in India bringing in much needed hope for what are very challenging times. With the government opening up vaccination for anyone above the age of 45 we are inching closer to a fully vaccinated nation. While much is written and talked about the clinical efficacy of the various COVID-19 vaccine options , very little is being said about a simple, free and accessible to all prescription that could boost the vaccine response significantly. This secret prescription to unlock maximum benefits from your upcoming COVID-19 vaccine shot is nothing but good sleep.

Sleep plays a vital role in our body’s immune system. When we get enough sleep, our white blood cells can more efficiently fight invading bacteria or viruses. But when we cut back on sleep, the reverse happens, our white blood cells are reduced, and we end up with a compromised immune system Many scientific researches done on virus similar to COVID-19 prove that getting good sleep can boost the body’s antibody response thereby giving better protection from vaccines.

Dr. Aric Prather , Sleep Scientist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of California, San Francisco did the ground breaking study on the correlation between sleep duration and flu causing rhinoviruses. “Sleep is strongly tied to how well our immune system functions, especially when it comes to vaccines. Several studies show that a lack of sleep on the days surrounding vaccination is associated with a less robust antibody response.” he said.

As we all queue up for the vaccine in the upcoming months, Mathew Chandy, Sleep Evangelist and MD, Duroflex wants people to know this secret and pay close attention to their sleep. “ Over the last few years, we have really started to understand the importance and superpowers of sleep. It is the foundation of good health, and a free but necessary supplement to a good diet and exercise regime. During the pandemic we formed a new team of researchers, technologists, sleep evangelists and sleep doctors who do deep research and spreads awareness about the importance of good sleep in boosting immunity to viruses. I hope that we will all pay close attention to our sleep hygiene and prioritise 7-8 hrs of quality sleep, as clinical trials involving similar viruses have shown that this is likely to significantly boost the effectiveness of vaccinations. Just like diabetes testing is always done after 12 hrs of fasting, I hope that the government, the ICMR, the WHO and the vaccine manufacturers will make good sleep hygiene a part of the vaccination protocol. The whole world will benefit from a vaccine drive that is 40% more effective with zero additional cost” he said

Dr Kannan Ramar, President, American Academy of Sleep Medicine seconded this fact and said, “As COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, it is of utmost importance that patients continue to prioritize their sleep to maintain optimal health. Getting sufficient, high-quality sleep on a regular basis strengthens your body’s immune system and optimizes your response to a vaccine.”

Today ,we have in many ways learnt to live with the virus by adopting many new habits like mask wearing, social distancing , sanitising, quarantining and much more. Right now , it the time to embrace the vaccine and inculcate the habit that boosts not just vaccine efficacy but overall health and immunity- good sleep.