A good night’s rest can be a blessing, as less sleep equals higher chances of catching a cold, and with fall upon us, it’s something to take seriously into consideration. For most of us, the rainy season is coming, with colder winds and shorter days that throw off out internal clock.
However, a healthy amount of sleep could be just one more means of protection against catching the dreaded cold virus that becomes very common during this time of the year. A new study at the University of California has carefully observed the sleeping patterns of 164 participants in great detail and near worrying methods.
The study subjects first underwent through a hefty screening process and completed questionnaires on personal information and usual habits. The researchers attempted to gain as accurate results as possible, by removing things such as stress, vices and temperament from the list of relevant factors.
For one week, all the participants were essentially sequestered in a hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where their sleeping patterns were carefully tracked. After the period of observation and examination, the next course of the trial began by administering them the common cold virus through nasal drops.
Within the next week, all volunteers were under the watchful eyes of the researchers, with mucus samples taken every day to see how far along the symptoms progressed, or lack thereof. The point of the study was to properly assess how big of a factor sleep was in order for the body’s immune system to fight off the virus.
As it turns out, a good night’s rest might just be the overlooked boost in health your body needs. Participants who frequently slept 6 or less hours per night, were at 4.2 times at higher risk of catching a cold, as opposed to those who had 7 or more hours of rest. A small difference in schedule could mean quite a lot.
Furthermore, those who slept 5 hours or less had a 4.5 times higher risk of the virus taking a hold. According to Aric Prather, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, sleep was the most important element out of all the beneficial factors in our bodies fighting off the common cold virus.
No matter age, gender, race, education, income or vices, poor and short sleeping patterns will generally make you more groggy, irritable, and more vulnerable to catching a cold. It’s not simply about missing out on your beauty sleep.
Lack of rest has been previously linked to illnesses, premature death, car crashes, industrial disaster and medical errors, and yet, there is still a bragging point to make in today’s society about getting a lot of work done on little sleep. Researchers hope that more people understand that’s little to be proud of and more to be worried about.
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