Those who sleep less than five hours are at high risk of getting cold, study reveals
People who sleep less than six hours are more likely to catch common cold, a new research suggests.
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For the study, a total of 164 healthy men and women were recruited. The participants were asked about their temperament, health practices and other psychological variables to establish a baseline. Then they were tracked for 7 days. Their sleeping routines have been monitored throughout the week, meaning duration and quality of the sleep at night has been measured.
Participants were then taken in to an isolated place and exposed to cold virus via nasal drops. They were monitored for five more days to see whether the rhinovirus or cold have been developed in them or not.
Researchers found that participants who got insufficient sleep were more likely to catch cold. Those who slept less than five hours were especially at a high risk of developing cold than those who slept 7 hours every night.
“Sleep goes beyond all the other factors that were measured,” said Aric Prather, lead author of the study. “It didn’t matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, education or income. It didn’t matter if they were a smoker. With all those things taken into account, statistically sleep still carried the day and was an overwhelmingly strong predictor for susceptibility to the cold virus.”
Prather suggests that inadequate and poor sleep may affect our immune system in many ways and can lead to illnesses.
“We don’t know conclusively what happens, but there are a variety of pathways and they all work together and ultimately put people at risk.”
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Many prior researchers indicate that lack of sleep can affect physical health and can even cause premature death. The latest research also provides further evidences in this respect.