Keep the Flu Away by Sleeping More

Many times we feel overwhelmed with work, kids or even our spouses and we just don’t have enough hours of the day to do everything we planned. We stay up late trying to catch up on our to-do-lists, which cuts into our sleeping time. Most American adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, but many are getting 40% less than that. While many people may think that they don’t need that many hours of sleep, a new study found that you’re more likely to catch a cold when you don’t sleep enough hours.

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With the flu season right around the corner it might be a good time to catch up on some zzz’s. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center worked on a sleeping study, published in the Journal of Sleep. They found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night were more likely to catch a cold than those who got more than 7 hours of sleep.

The study is the first to use objective sleep measures to connect people’s natural sleeping habits and their risk of getting sick. Researchers tracked the sleeping habits of healthy adults and then infected them with a live cold virus. There was a total of 164 volunteers aged 18 to 55 which were given the rhinovirus, the most common cause of the common cold. The week before, they measured their normal sleep by using a sensor that measured their quality of sleep during the night.