Will sleep help my child’s immune system fight coronavirus?
Whilst we know that getting enough sleep can help everyone’s immune system, it’s not entirely clear how. Some studies suggest that lack of sleep reduces the amount of proteins and hormones that our body makes to help fight infection or reduces their circulation around our body. Other studies have suggested that sleep helps to boost the body’s immune memory – like forming immunity to a disease after a vaccination.1 However, none of these studies have been done with babies and most studies with adults suggest that you need prolonged sleep deprivation (that is, weeks of not getting enough sleep) to have an effect on the immune system.
So, whilst sleep is good for health in general, there is no evidence at this stage that getting your baby or child to have more sleep will help their immune system fight the coronavirus. If they are sleeping as they usually do, their immune system is likely just fine.
This post was written in the Spring of 2020. Please follow your local guidelines and advice from family health care providers for appropriate, current coronavirus safety measures.