Great Preventative Cold Medicine? A Good Night's Sleep.

A new study says that the less sleep you get, the more likely you'll be to catch a cold. 


As if being an insomniac wasn’t troublesome enough, here's something else you can lay awake worrying about: getting sick. A new study led by Aric Prather and UCSF, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Dietrich College found a direct correlation between length of sleep and the chances of developing a cold. Compared to people who get seven-plus hours rest, people that sleep six hours or fewer a night were four times as likely to catch a cold, and people that sleep less than five hours a night were 4.5 times as likely to get sick.

As someone whose late-night Spotify sessions indicate a chronic sleep problem (I have around a dozen playlists dedicated to inducing sleep, all with dubious success rates), this is not good news. As more and more sleep studies are published, I've become increasingly aware of how important a good night’s rest is to our overall health.

This study took 194 subjects and put them through two months of health screenings, then watched their sleeping habits for a week. They were given a cold virus via nasal drops, and over the next several days monitored for cold symptoms. Nothing they measured, from basic demographic information to antibody levels to psychological variables, predicted one’s likelihood to get a cold except for sleep levels.

Arianna Huffington discusses the importance of a well-rested mind and body.

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