A recent study has revealed that those who get six hours of sleep or less are over four times more likely to contract the cold virus than those who get seven hours or more. The US scientists who carried out the research suspect that adequate sleep is essential for the body’s immune defences.
The study findings build on previous research that suggest those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to catch infectious diseases and have a slower recovery when they do become ill.
Scientists recruited 94 men and 70 women for the study, with an average age of 30. They had two months of interviews, questionnaires and health screening to establish baseline levels of stress, temperament and alcohol/tobacco use. The participants then used a wrist-mounted device to track their sleep.
To find out how well they fought off infections, the volunteers were given nasal drops containing the cold virus. Doctors checked mucus samples over the following week to see if and when...