Sleep and Antibody Response to the Hepatitis B Vaccination

Experimental evidence links poor sleep and susceptibility to infectious illness; however, it remains to be determined if naturally occurring sleep is associated with immune responses critical to protection against infection. This observational study investigated whether sleep, assessed in the natural environment via actigraphy and sleep diary, predicted the magnitude of antibody responses to a novel antigen (i.e., hepatitis B) in a sample of 125 healthy, community volunteers in midlife. Analyses revealed that shorter actigraphy-derived sleep duration was associated with lower secondary antibody responses to vaccination, independent of study covariates. Further shorter sleep duration, assessed by both diary and actigraphy, predicted decreased likelihood of being clinically protected (anti-hepatitis B surface antigen immunoglobin G ³ 10 mIU/ml) 6-months after the conclusion of the vaccination series. Measures of sleep efficiency and subjective quality were unrelated to vaccination response. This study provides intriguing preliminary evidence that short sleep duration in the natural environment negatively affects in vivo antibody responses to novel antigens, which may have important implications for immunologically vulnerable populations experiencing short sleep.