If you’ve ever gone without enough sleep, you know that fatigue can affect your concentration, function, and even overall mood. Research has also shown that getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night may reduce your risk of more serious conditions like heart disease.
According to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who don’t get enough sleep are also more susceptible to the common cold. Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, conducted the study and found that the less sleep subjects got, the more likely they were to catch a cold.
The subjects were exposed to a cold virus and researchers found that people who got less than seven hours of sleep a night were three times more likely to develop a cold than those who got eight or more hours.
According to the authors of the study, “A possible explanation for this finding is that sleep disturbance influences the regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, histamines and other symptom mediators that are released in response to infection.”
Our suggestion? Set aside at least eight hours of shut-eye to improve your chances of staying cold-free this winter.