The world has seen some creative common cold remedies over the years — wearing cold wet socks to bed, lining your throat with chicken fat, eating oysters. But there’s a better way to ward off the sniffles before they happen. Simply get enough sleep each night. No chicken lard required.

The journal SLEEP just published a study that involved 164 healthy women and men. Researchers tracked how much sleep they got over the course of a week. Then they were given nasal drops with a cold virus to see who got sick and who didn’t. The results show that people who got less than 6 hours of sleep were more likely to catch a cold than those who got the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night.

The link between the common cold and lack of sleep can be found in the immune system. When a healthy person is well-rested, their immune system is able to fight off diseases like colds and flus more effectively than if they were sleep-deprived.

The common cold isn’t exactly a rampant medical emergency in the United States, but the country is experiencing a huge deficit in good sleep nationwide. It’s gotten so bad that the CDC has deemed insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic.

Healthier sleep gives health benefits that reach beyond the need for NyQuil and boxes of Kleenex. It lowers your risk of heart disease and keeps you from nodding off at your desk during the day.

Keep the common cold at bay with a solid 7 hours of sleep or more per night. Your sinuses will thank you.