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The less you sleep, the more colds you get

New study reveals you should sleep in tomorrow

The less you sleep, the more colds you get

In a study published in the latest edition of research journal Sleep, scientists have conducted ‘real life’ tests on willing subjects – all in the name of sleep.

164 people were fitted with trackers that monitored their sleep for a week. After the week was over, the participants returned to the lab where they were asked to use a simple nasal spray. This however, wasn’t your normal decongestant, the spray contained a live virus shot.

Afterwards, they were quarantined in a hotel for five days where researchers monitored their symptoms and health.

In order to determine how much sleep was affecting the virus, controlling factors like age, stress, BMI and antibody levels prior to the study, were taken into consideration. Therefore, the amount of sleep participants averaged, was taken as a strong prediction of infection.

The study found that those who averaged six or less hours of sleep a night were four times more likely to experience cold and flu symptoms than those who achieved at least seven hours. The risk of coming down with a cold also increased with less sleep.

What we are seeing then, is that 39%  of people who continually experience six or less hours of sleep a night were susceptible to colds, compared to 18% of people who slept more.

Other factors and behaviours may also increase susceptibility, research suggests. For instance, age may play a role, and smoking, chronic stress and low fitness levels can all make us more susceptible.

While the original test was not conducted to test the how sleep affects immunity, it did prove that the two concepts were undeniably interconnected.




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