According to research, a lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making it less able to protect the body against invading pathogens, including the common cold. Trying to get by on small amounts of sleep, or having interrupted sleep, can leave your immune system unable to do its necessary repair work.
How to Boost Your Immune System? The More Sleep, the Better
A 2009 study found that those who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are nearly three times more likely to catch a cold than those who get more than eight hours of sleep.
The study also found that quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. Those with below-normal sleep efficiency (tossing and turning during the night or lying awake, not sleeping) are 5.5 times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep soundly.2
This cold and flu season, try your best to keep a strong sleep routine. You’ll find that it just might be what your immune system needs to keep you healthy and feeling great.
1 Duda, K. Improve Your Health with More Sleep. About.com, 19 April 2009. http://coldflu.about.com/od/faqaboutthecold/qt/sleepandhealth.htm
2 Cohen, S., Doyle, W., Cuneyt, A., Janicki-Deverts, D., Turner, R. Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold. Arch Intern Med. 169(1): 62-67. 2009.