As we’re heading into cold and flu season, we wanted to tell you about one more reason to change your sleep-deprived ways. A team of researchers from UC San Francisco recently published a groundbreaking study in the journal Sleep that exposed the link between nightly hours of sleep and the likelihood of catching a common cold. The results were striking: those routinely getting less than six hours’ sleep per night were over four times more likely to get sick than those who got the recommended amount of sleep (at least seven hours). What’s more, when compared to other risk factors such as stress, exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption, sleep was the most important factor in determining who got sick!
We often hear from our clients that, between their endless work and home demands, they simply don’t have time for sleep. But this new study reminds us that if you don’t prioritize your sleep, you are likely to compromise your immune system and set yourself up for a nasty infection! Not to mention the long-term effects of chronic sleep deprivation, like weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, whether because of a busy lifestyle or an untreated sleep disorder, add a bullet point on your to-do list to address that today; your health really does depend on it. If you think that you might have sleep apnea but want to avoid a trip to the sleep lab, consider ordering a convenient home sleep study.
Read more about the study here.
Joseph Krainin, M.D., FAASM is the founder of Singular Sleep, the world's first online sleep center. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and board-certified in both sleep medicine and neurology. He has been practicing medicine for over 10 years.