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