Too Little Sleep Increases The Risk Of Cold And Other Infections

Posted: Apr 12 2016, 3:57am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 12 2016, 10:47pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Too Little Sleep Increases the Risk of Cold and Other Infections
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A good sleep at night is necessary for optimal heath, says study.

Scientists have found yet another reason why we should get enough sleep. New research says that people who get insufficient sleep are at high risk of catching a cold and other common infections. So, getting enough sleep not only helps maintain overall health, but helps protect you from seasonal infections too.

“People who sleep five or fewer hours on average are at substantially increased risk for both colds whether head or chest or other infections, compared to people who sleep seven to eight hours on average.” Lead researcher Aric Prather, professor of psychology at University of California, San Francisco said in a statement.

Getting too little sleep directly affects the immune system which makes it harder to protect a body from infections, bacteria and other types of diseases and often results in poorer health.

For the study, researchers surveyed 22,000 U.S. adults between 2005 and 2012 and asked them questions regarding their total hours of shut-eye, sleep disorders and whether they have a cold, flu, phenomena or an ear infection in the past 30 days.

People who used to sleep five or less hours on average weeknight were 28% more likely to report having common cold in the past month. Those who slept for 7 to 8 hours on average were found less likely to catch cold, flu or ear infection. Even after adjusting factors like age, sex, race, education, smoking status and physical activity, the outcome remained the same.

“Sleep is increasingly recognized as an important determinant of health and well-being. Approximately 50 million to 70 million Americans have either a sleep disorder or habitually insufficient sleep…Experimental evidence demonstrates that sleep loss can adversely affect components of the immune system critical to host resistance to infectious illness.” Study mentions.

Researchers hope that this study will encourage people to get more zzz’s because sleep “should be considered as an additional vital sign for optimal health.”

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