Sound sleep ''key to vaccine protection''
Getting the proper amount of sleep has been highlighted as a key requisite for the safe delivery of vaccinations, new research has revealed.
According to research carried out by a scientist at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) and published in the journal Sleep, volunteers were given a vaccination for the hepatitis B virus and were then subjected to different sleep patterns to highlight the impact of sleep on these treatments.
In the group who were allowed six hours of sleep or fewer per night, the vaccination was shown to have been ineffective and these people were still vulnerable to contracting the virus despite their immunisation.
Two doses of the vaccine were administered over the course of a month, with the antibodies in the blood of the subjects measured after each to determine whether a "clinically protective response" had been achieved.
Lead author Dr Aric Prather, a clinical health psychologist at UCSF, said: "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.
"These findings should help raise awareness in the public health community about the clear connection between sleep and health."
Meanwhile, research completed by scientists at Ohio State University and published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry recently showed sleeping with low levels of light in the background could have a significant detrimental impact on the quality of rest achieved by people.
The study showed that in animals, when they were subjected to chronic dim light conditions over a three-week period, the subjects began to demonstrate signs of lethargy and depression.
Tracy Bedrosian, lead author of the study and doctoral student in neuroscience at the university, said: "The good news is that people who stay up late in front of the television and computer may be able to undo some of the harmful effects just by going back to a regular light-dark cycle."
Posted by Michael Ewing