It turns out that a good night’s sleep really can be what you need to fight off those pesky colds and infections. Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that those who sleep five or fewer hours a night had a nearly 30-percent higher risk of getting a common cold than those who sleep more.
That risk jumps all the way to 80% more for other infections like the flu or pneumonia. Experts don’t have a definitive answer as to why more sleep helps lower the risk of illness, but believe it has to do with a type of white blood cell that fights off infections. They simply don’t work as well when you’re sleep-deprived.
Study researcher Aric Prather notes, “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.”
Need more hints on getting a good night’s sleep? Visit the folks at National Sleep Foundation.