Study finds that if you have 6-7 hours of sleep each night you could avoid getting sick
It turns out, your mother was right when she told you to get enough sleep in order to avoid getting sick. Researchers from the University of California and the University of Pittsburgh have investigated the association between and the incidence of illness, which was published this month in the journal Sleep.
Over 160 healthy participants were recruited to take part in the study. Sleep duration was assessed using sleep diaries and wrist actigraphy, a watch-like sensor that measures rest and activity cycles. Sleep cycles were measured over a 7-day period, after which, participants were infected with rhinovirus, the common cold.
The researchers reported that participants who slept for shorter amounts of time were more likely to develop symptoms of a cold following infection. The greatest association was seen in participants who slept less than 5 hours per night, compared to participants who slept more than 7 hours per night. There was no increased risk of developing a cold in participants who slept between 6 and 7 hours per night. Upon further analysis, the researchers found that interrupted sleep was not associated with development of a cold. The study demonstrates that even if sleep is interrupted, getting a minimum of 6-7 hours per night can reduce your risk of getting sick.
Prather, AA, Janicki-Deverts, D, Hall, MH, Cohen, S. “Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold” Sleep Volume 38, Issue 9.
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Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD