A new study shows that lack of sufficient sleep contributes to the likelihood of contracting the cold virus.
Forget about Echinacea and Vitamin C binges, a new study indicates that getting enough sleep could thwart the common cold. But those who slept less than six hours per night were more susceptible to the prevalent ailment.
The study was conducted at the University of San Francisco, and lead researcher Aric Prather said that the analysis was the first of its kind to “use objective sleep measures to connect people’s natural sleep habits and their risk of getting sick.” Aric adds that short sleep was the most important indicator of whether one was likely to catch a cold despite stress levels, age, race, education, income variances, or even smoking habits.
The study was carried out between 2007 and 2011 using volunteers. Each person vetted was asked about their stress levels, general temperament, and alcohol and tobacco use to maintain a consistent variable. The volunteers’ sleep patterns were watched for a week before administering the cold virus.
The results showed that subjects who received less than six hours a night were 4.2 times more likely to catch the virus. Other scientists not affiliated with the study expected these results.
Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior with Brown University Alpert Medical School, said, “This is a confirmatory study of other studies that have been moving our thinking in this direction,” and she adds, “Short sleep has been linked to a greater risk for cancer and other more chronic conditions, and consistently shorter sleep has clearly been associated with a higher likelihood of illness.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even labeled lack of sleep a public health epidemic. According to a survey executed in 2013 by the National Sleep Foundation, 20 percent of the nation’s public clocks in less than six hours of sleep on a work day during the week.
The foundation recommends no less than seven hours of sleep per night for adults.
Source: Voice of America