Want to Avoid Catching a Cold? Get More Sleep
BY Advocate Contributors
August 09 2011 9:00 AM ET
A new study shows that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are three times more likely than those who sleep at least eight hours to catch a common cold after being exposed to a cold-causing virus.
Researchers say it’s been commonly thought that poor sleep increases your chances of coming down with the common cold, but until now there has been little scientific evidence to support that notion.
In the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers studied 153 healthy men and women. Each of the participants kept track of their sleeping habits for 14 days, noting how long and how well they slept the previous night as well as whether they felt rested.
After 14 days the participants were quarantined, given nasal drops containing a cold-causing virus (rhinovirus), and monitored for five days for signs of a common cold.
The results showed that those who slept an average of less than seven hours per night were nearly three times more likely to develop a common cold than those who reported eight or more hours per night in the weeks leading up to the experiment.
But it wasn’t just about how much time they were spending in bed. Researcher Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University, and colleagues found the percentage of time spent actually asleep was especially important.
For example, those who spent 92% of their time in bed asleep were five and a half times more likely to develop a common cold than those who spent 98% or more of their time in bed sleeping.
Feeling rested, however, was not associated with getting a cold.
Researchers write that "these results strongly suggest the possibility of sleep playing a causal role in cold susceptibility."
[This report reprinted with permission of WebMd Medical News | January 12, 2009 | By Jennifer Warner | Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD]
- WATCH: The Cure for Gay Wedding-Related Depression
- Florida Teen Arrested, Expelled for Same-Sex Relationship
- The South's Longer Wait for Equality
- The Small Southwestern Town That Went Rogue
- Editor's Letter: Why One Couple's Story Should Worry You
- 25 Rare Photos of Jinkx Monsoon Before "Drag Superstardom"
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Current Issue The South's Longer Wait for Equality 31 min 38 sec ago
- Current Issue Editor's Letter: Why One Couple's Story Should Worry You 31 min 38 sec ago
- Current Issue The Small Southwestern Town That Went Rogue 31 min 38 sec ago
- Arts & Entertainment Week in Beef: Ben Cohen, Frank Ocean, Hugh Jackman, and More Shirtless Celebs May 19 2013 6:02 PM
- Sports Griner: Baylor Coach Enforced Closet Policy May 19 2013 5:59 PM
- Politicians Gay Activists Interrupt Marco Rubio Speech May 19 2013 2:03 PM
- Hate-crimes WATCH: Vigil for Hate Crime Victim Mark Carson May 19 2013 1:01 PM