A new study has revealed that sleeping any less than seven (7) hours per night quadruples your chances of catching a cold. That means that you are four (4) times more vulnerable to viruses.
For as long as we’ve had them, health experts have stressed the importance of getting of a good night’s sleep. But people are becoming more and more unwilling to follow this advice. The rhythm of modern day life is often chaotic and sleep is one of the first things that people cut off their list of things to accomplish.
And many claim that they are perfectly able to get through their day with just two (2), three (3) or four (4) hours of sleep. So a group of US researchers set out to identify the health compromises that these people make by not resting enough.
The test results showed that individuals who spend less than seven (7) hours per night sleeping raise their risk of catching a cold by four (4) times, when compared to individuals who spend at least seven (7) hours per night sleeping.
The news isn’t exactly surprising as past studies have established connections between poor sleeping patterns and low productivity, chronic illness, and premature death. However, this is the first one to establish a connection between poor sleeping patterns and an elevated risk of developing an infectious sickness.
Aric Prather, assistant professor of psychiatry working at the University of California San Francisco and lead author of the study, offered a statement saying that “It is my hope that studies like this one will provide the necessary science to show conclusively that chronic short sleep has a health cost”.
He went on to explain that after examining the results of the experiments, he and his team noticed that “individuals who were sleeping the least were substantially more likely to develop a cold”. This finding didn’t change after the researchers took into account the subjects’ stress levels, smoking status, age, and other control factors.
Unfortunately, the reality of the matter is far from what professor Prather would like it to be. Field experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that insufficient sleep has almost become an epidemic among Americans.
Statistics show that one (1) in five (5) US citizens spends less than six (6) hours per night sleeping. And a 2013 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation examined the sleep habits of six (6) separate countries and found that Americans sleep the least.
The research team took a very hands on approach with the new study. In the past, researchers have based similar studies on the subjects’ recollection of colds, sick days and sleep patterns.
But the researchers from the new study picked out 164 subjects and enrolled them into a program which gave then the possibility to observe and asses the subjects’ normal sleep habits as well as the success they had fighting off cold viruses that they were deliberately infected with.
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