Catching a Fresh Cold and Sleeping Less? Take a Look at These Remedies
When we have a cold, the first thing most of us do is pop some Vitamin C. But it turns out getting too little sleep may be the real culprit. If you get more sleep, you might be able to forget some of your fall and winter colds.
The LA Times zeroed in on a recent study that shows us how this works. Thanks to the participation of 164 adults who allowed investigators to drop particles of rhinovirus into their noses and run exams on their nasal cavities, researchers concluded sleeping only six hours a night, or less, will make you much more likely to catch the common cold.
Compared to study participants who slept for more than seven hours a night, those who slept for five to six hours were four times more likely to develop a cold. The ones who slept less than five hours a night were four times more likely to get sick after being exposed to the virus.
Researchers from UC San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh considered a variety of factors that might also be involved in colds. They looked at factors like smoking and drinking, stress levels and patterns of exercise. But sleep duration still stood out as the most important factor in predicting the person’s risk of getting sick.
How to Get the Extra Sleep
Assuming this research is viable, most of us will have to change a few of our ways if we want to try it. Most of my friends and relatives report that they often get less than six hours. Or they have interrupted sleep, getting four and five hours, getting up, and then conking off for an hour more.
Many of us sip wine with dinner, overeat, and stress out as we consider deadlines for the next day. We might also eat during the night when we pop up, or be on and off of our screens.
Obviously all of this is a bit apart from the goal of getting six hours or more of really good sleep.
To help achieve at least six hours and keep building on that, skip late night alcohol, tobacco and screen use. Make your bedroom a haven of darkness with a good mattress and pillows. Create a dark, secluded serene environment and wind down with a warm bath, or relaxed yoga session.
This could be a great two for one, as we improve our sleep routines and skip a lot of colds.