If you’re prone to the sniffles, consider turning in earlier. A University of California study found that people who sleep less than six hours per night are four and a half times more likely to catch a cold compared to people who sleep seven hours per night. The researchers asked 164 healthy subjects with an average age of 30 to wear a device that monitors sleep for one week to get a grasp on their typical sleeping habits. Afterward, they took the subjects into a hotel and exposed them to the rhinovirus — the common cold — via nose drops.
The researchers asked 164 healthy participants with an average age of 30 to wear a wrist actigraph — a device that monitors sleep — for one week to establish their baseline sleep habits. Later, they sequestered the participants in a hotel and, using nasal drops, dosed each of them with a rhinovirus— aka the common cold bug. The ones who snoozed for longer periods of time were better able to ward off colds.
As Dr. M. Safwan Badr, former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and chief of the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, told NBC News:
“Sleep is part of our own nature’s defense against illness.”
How we all appreciate that incredible quote we pulled? Anyway, sleep was a bigger factor than age or stress.
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