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Under 7 hours sleep TRIPLES your risk of getting a cold

16 April 2015 No Comment

I pity the fool that volunteered for this study. 153 healthy, that’s right, HEALTHY, men and women VOLUNTEERED, if you can believe it, to be given the virus that develops into the common cold. Imagine doing that to yourself. I think they had a cotton bud with the flu virus inserted into their nostril or something. Good times!

Anyway, I am loving their work, for we all get to benefit from the results. Prior to being given the virus, their sleep habits were measured for 14 nights, both in terms of their sleep duration and their “sleep efficiency” (the percentage of time in bed that they were actually asleep).

No surprises here – “participants with less than 7 hours of sleep were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold than those with 8 hours or more of sleep”, and “participants with less than 92% efficiency were 5.50 times more likely to develop a cold than those with 98% or more efficiency”.

The differences could not be accounted for by how healthy the subjects were, their antibody levels (a measure of immune function),  socioeconomic status or psychology or even if people “felt rested”.

If you want to read about how STRESS affects your susceptibility to the Common Cold, click here…

Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold

Sheldon Cohen, PhD; William J. Doyle, PhD; Cuneyt M. Alper, MD; Denise Janicki-Deverts, PhD; Ronald B. Turner, MD

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62-67.


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