Time to get that flu shot! When you get a vaccination during the day, consider taking a sleeping pill before you go to bed that night, because a new study shows that poor sleep can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. In fact, sleep duration is directly tied to vaccine immune response.

Psychologist Aric Prather says, "With the emergence of our 24-hour lifestyle, longer working hours, and the rise in the use of technology, chronic sleep deprivation has become a way of life for many Americans. These findings should help raise awareness in the public health community about the clear connection between sleep and health."

A vaccination helps the body to manufacture antibodies which identify and neutralize foreign objects such as viruses. When study participants received vaccinations, then kept sleep diaries, when their antibody levels were measured, it was discovered that the ones that did not receive adequate protection from the vaccine were the ones who didn’t sleep well afterwards.

The researchers say, "Sleeping fewer than six hours conferred a significant risk of being unprotected as compared with sleeping more than seven hours per night."

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