We’ve officially said goodbye to summer and are in the thick of the autumn season. With the changing of the leaves, comes unfortunately, the fall bugs, mainly, the common cold. While we all suffer from this nuisance of a sickness, there’s not much that ever seems to work to prevent the common cold – until now that is. Scientists have found that getting a good night of sleep can actually help to prevent the common cold. While of course there are many factors to help prevent it, it’s a revolutionary idea and one that could have you sleeping better at night and waking up without the sniffles in the morning. Let’s learn how getting a good night sleep on your botanical mattress could prevent you from getting sick.
Sleep Longer, Feel Better
According to the Pittsburgh researches in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who averaged less than seven hours of sleep a night were about three times more likely to develop cold symptoms than study volunteers who got eight or more hours of sleep.
A study was conducted to prove this theory and participants who had a hard time falling asleep or woke up in the middle of the night fared even worse: Their chances of coming down with a cold were up to five and a half times higher than people who were sound asleep – and stayed that way – almost as soon as their heads hit the pillow.
“This is a huge effect,” Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in an interview. He was not involved in the study.
Sleep Improves Brain Function and the Immune System
“These results really fit in very well with what has been becoming increasingly clear, which is that sleep has major effects not only on the brain in terms of alertness and performance, but also on the health of the body.”
Sheldon Cohen, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, led the clinical trial in which 153 healthy men and women told researchers every day for two weeks how long and well they slept and how rested they felt.
The volunteers were then quarantined in a hotel, where cold-causing rhinoviruses were dropped into their noses. For five days they were monitored for sneezing, coughing, stuffy noses, and other cold symptoms.
Study Found: Sleep Trumps All Other Factors
Among the 153 study subjects, 135 were infected, but only 54 developed a cold. After taking into account a wide variety of factors – including age, weight, socioeconomic status, perceived stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption – how long and how well individuals slept were the strongest predictors of who would come down with a cold.
The most important thing to remember about sleeping to prevent a cold is that you actually have to be sleeping. Laying in bed awake is not enough. If you have trouble sleeping at night try natural remedies and check out some great natural ways to cure insomnia. Sleep is important not only for preventing colds, but for living your life to the fullest everyday.
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