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.
This study was more accurate than previous sleep studies due to the technology used in the measurements. Researchers used wrist actigraphy, which is basically a FitBit, instead of the usual polysomnography (which can inhibit natural movement during sleep) or just relying on the subject’s recollection. It also didn’t deprive the subjects of sleep, but allowed them to maintain as normal a routine as possible. The intention was to create an environment that could have been any regular week in cold season.
My fellow Big Thinkers have written about how sleep affects our ability to read moods, probability of developing Alzheimer’s, and cognition in our older years. While these are all troubling for those of us who can’t get a solid night of rest, it is still useful and pertinent knowledge. It’s something for us to take into consideration as we head into cold season, armed with our Duane Reade rewards card and throat coat tea. For those that are able, turn off Netflix and go to bed. Your body will thank you later.
Photo courtesy of GettyImages
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.