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Good sleep before flu shot can make it more effective, claim experts

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The seasonal flu shots, which are crucial in the fight against influenza and Covid-19, have been found more effective for people who have a healthy sleeping routine, according to Mathew Walker, a sleep specialist.

Doctors have been recommending the seasonal flu shots to everyone this year. The symptoms of Coronavirus infection and flu are very similar; the shots will help doctors identify the disease early saving time.

Mathew Walker, who is a Sleep Specialist at the University of California, has highlighted the critical role “good sleep hygiene” plays in increasing effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

Walker explained inadequate sleep for a week before getting the flu jabs can hinder our immune system’s capabilities by producing 50% less antibody response to the vaccine, which can make it mostly ineffective.

He also mentioned studies published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine in 2020 and the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 to further support his claim. The studies report on the impact good sleep can have in making vaccines more effective.

“We then need to study, is there that same relationship between sleep and your successful Covid immunization, because if there is, then that could also be a game-changer,” he mentioned.

“Individuals who are sleeping less than seven hours are three times more likely to become infected by the rhinovirus, or the common cold. We know that individuals who are sleeping five hours or less a night are 70% more likely to contract pneumonia”

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is also conducting similar studies which are trying to understand the relationship between immunity and sleep.

Earlier studies have also revealed that sleeping patterns are closely related with other diseases. People who sleep less than appropriate for their age are also more prone to depression, paranoia, weak immune system, mood swings, low libido, and gaining weight.

Lack of proper sleep can also increase your probability of getting diabetes, stroke, dementia, cardiovascular disease and few types of cancer as well.

A study conducted on British government employees found that not having proper sleep (reducing time from seven to five hours) over a long period of time can significantly escalate your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by twice.

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