Who Is Most Likely To Get Sick In Your Family?
A new research study published in the journal of Sleep shows how sleep can help to keep your family healthy during the upcoming cold and flu season.
I am obviously a proponent of quality sleep at all ages. Lack of sleep has proven correlation with depression in adults, poor academic performance in school-aged kids and behavior issues in toddlers.
But my jaw really hit the floor with the results of this new study...
Not getting enough sleep actually makes you 4X more likely to catch a cold!
Really, science says so.
Researchers from the University of San Francisco and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center studied 165 adults over the course of 2 months. Study participants were varied in terms of gender, age and general health. They were interviewed to determine their stress level, temperament, alcohol use, etc. Each participant’s sleep habits were tracked using a device that accounted for quality and quantity of sleep. Next, study participants were quarantined and given a common cold virus through nasal drop (yuck!). Their health was then monitored for a week.
People who slept 6 or less hours were 4.2 times more likely to contract the illness.
People who slept for 5 or less hours were 4.5 times more likely to get sick.
The healthiest participants slept 7 hours or more each night.
"Sleep goes beyond all the other factors that were measured," Aric Prather, lead author of the study, said in a press release. "It didn't matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, education or income. It didn't matter if they were a smoker. With all those things taken into account, statistically sleep still carried the day and was an overwhelmingly strong predictor for susceptibility to the cold virus."
Although this study was conducted on adults, you can imagine the kind of effect that sleep deprivation must have on your kids' health. How much sleep should everyone in your family be getting?
How much sleep do you get each night?