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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

The flu shot is less effective if you are not getting enough sleep!

I listened to a pod cast about sleep and our immune system with Matthew Walker.

One of my clients linked me to it because of the interesting information about sleep and its importance before flu shots. Since this is a timely conversation, here’s the gist of this information.

If you don’t get sufficient sleep “the week before you get your flu shot, your body ends up producing less than a 50% antibody response therefore making the flu shot less effective”. This is crazy important information in this season of flu shots. I’ve linked a couple of articles that give the same type of data. Most is suggesting that less than 7 hours of sleep for at least the week before the flu shot will improve the effectiveness.

Other studies mentioned:

- if you get less than 7 hours sleep, you are 3 times more likely to get infected with a cold.

- Less than 5 hours of sleep can make you up to 70% more likely to develop pneumonia

So get your sleep people! And if you have trouble sleeping, you might want to talk with your doctor however, as a physiotherapist I would definitely suggest regular exercise. It reduces stress, helps regulate circadian rhythms, increases the chemical that can make us feel sleepy among other physiological things. But the details of that should really be in another blog!

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