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Afternoon Vaccines Better For Baby's Sleep

Thursday, 01 December 2011 10:29 AM

Infants who receive immunizations in the afternoon sleep better than those who get their shots in the morning, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Sleep “is a sign of a vaccine response,” said lead author Linda Franck, adding that it’s important to maximize that immune response.

The importance of sleep to an immune response is not completely understood, said Dr. Jason Homme, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Earlier research has found that adults had a stronger immune response if they were not sleep deprived before or after receiving vaccines.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco studied 70 two-month-olds, some of whom were given acetaminophen prior to being vaccinated. Infants are typically given acetaminophen in advance of vaccines to ward off fever or discomfort associated with receiving the shots. But, researchers say, the over-the-counter drug does not aid sleep.

All the children wore ankle monitors that measured their sleep before and after the immunizations. Most slept longer in the 24-hour period following the shots than before shots. Babies slept 90 minutes longer than the preceding day when vaccines were administered after 1:30 p.m.; they slept just 30 minutes longer when they got their vaccines in the morning.

Until further studies confirm these findings, researchers suggest it doesn’t hurt to schedule a child’s immunizations for the afternoon. Sleeping through post-vaccine discomfort may work better than a fever reducer, they say.

© HealthDay

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Babies sleep better if they get their immunizations in the afternoon instead of the morning, according to a new study.
Thursday, 01 December 2011 10:29 AM
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