Healthy sleep is essential to a strong immune system. As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, it’s important that people continue to get sufficient sleep for the best immune response.

Sleep loss is linked to changes in several immune processes. Poor sleep may weaken your defenses against a virus. It may affect how your body responds to a vaccine, increasing your risk for illness. For this reason, sleep deprivation during a global pandemic is especially risky.

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

There is extensive evidence of the link between sleep and immunity. Several studies have found a relationship between sleep duration and vaccination response. A 2020 study found that the flu vaccine appears to be more effective in people who get enough sleep for the two nights before receiving the shot. Other studies have made similar findings evaluating patients’ response to vaccines for hepatiti