Doctors: Without proper sleep, vaccines do you no good

Doctors say vaccines will do you no good if you don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

Medical experts have pushed flu shots this fall to curb the spread of influenza and hopefully soon, there will be one for the coronavirus.

Minds are racing this year. Stress from the coronavirus and financial impacts from it, working and learning from home, plus an overall uneasiness about when the world will return to normal can keep even the calmest person up at night.

"There is increased anxiety which leads to increased trouble sleeping," sleep specialist Dr. Folu Akinnusi says.

He says that lack of sleep could fuel health issues.

Like many other health experts, Dr. Folu Akinnusi encourages everyone to get a flu shot this year, to curb the spread of influenza, while researchers work on medicine for COVID-19.

Little sleep, however, will prevent the medicine from working properly.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 8 hours of sleep for adults and 9 or more for children who will also reap fewer benefits of a vaccine with little sleep.

"I felt awful," says Ron Massey, a dialysis patient who lived that nightmare.

He’s been on dialysis for years, which he says keeps him awake. His situation is extreme, he only averaged about 4 hours a night.

"They’ve been encouraging people with dialysis to get a flu shot because of COVID," he says.

Massey still fought the flu, even though he received a flu shot.

"I was in the hospital for a week," he says.

His doctor says it was in large part because of that little bit of sleep.

Thankfully, Massey didn’t battle both COVID-19 and the flu, but he says he has made adjustments to his lifestyle and work at the aquarium to make sure he sleeps adequately.

“I now only work on Saturday and Sunday and the rest of the week, I rest,” he says

Dr. Akinnusi says the lights from phones prevent people from sleeping well. He suggests cutting off all screens an hour before bedtime.