Not getting enough sleep causes problems beyond just feeling groggy and irritable, lack of sleep affects your physical health too. Many of us may understand this at some level, but I want to point out this powerful study about lack of sleep and susceptibility to cold viruses like coronovirus.
Research published in the journal of Sleep shows how getting adequate sleep can help to keep your family healthy during this cold, flu and COVID 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 study...
Not getting enough sleep actually makes you 4X more likely to get sick! 4 TIMES!
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."
We all know that sleep is important, but it's especially important during this pandemic. Although this study was conducted on adults, you can imagine the kind of effect that sleep deprivation must have on your kids' health. So, load your kids up with Vitamin C and get them to bed!
Use this chart to figure out how much sleep all the kids in your family should be getting.
If your 3 to 6 year old isn't getting the minimum 10 hours of sleep each night, join my next FREE Toddler Sleep Masterclass.
Learn all about my proven REST Method™to get them happily to bed before 8pm and sleeping all through the night - no wake ups.