Sleep is a rather controversial subject nowadays. Some specialists say that sleeping less makes you inefficient, others say that it doesn’t affect you that much, some insist that you need those 8 hours every day and others say you need a little bit more. Now a new study emerges which concluded that sleeping six hours every night or less can get you a free cold.
While this bring further evidence that sleep is a very important aspect of humans’ lifestyle, it also adds some more information into an ever-growing and uncertain field. The study’s results were published in the US journal Sleep.
We are very well aware of the fact that sleep can cause some negative features in our body: feeling tired is like a burden that makes your back or your eyes feel heavy, you can get clumsy and you lose attention easily. Now it seems that it makes us more vulnerable to catching a cold. Thus, we can conclude that it weakens our immunity system.
The lead author of the study was Aric Prather, an assistant professor within the University on California, and he was kind enough to explain how the lack of sleep “goes beyond feeling groggy or irritable”. Professor Prather also mentioned that “not getting enough sleep affects your physical health” which confirms the hypothesis that sleep deprivation weakens the immunity system.
The study involved the surveillance of 164 participants over the course of two months. They were regularly screened in order to establish the basic variables: alcohol and cigarette use, temperament and stress. Their sleep pattern was tracked via a specialized sensor which measured exactly how much they slept and the quality of their sleep every day.
Afterwards, the participants were moved to a hotel, where they had the cold virus administered to them. They were kept under surveillance for another week, mucus samples being collected every day so that researchers could keep track of their health.
The result was expected: the participants who slept 6 hours or less every night were diagnosed with a 4.2 percent more chance to catch a cold than the ones who slept for seven hours or more. The chances were rising the less people slept. It was also concluded that those who slept 5 hours or less had an increased 0.3 percent chance to get sick than those who slept six.
So it looks like we need to give ourselves a little more sleeping time if we want to stay healthy. At least until some other specialists will claim that sleeping 6 hours a night will give you more focus at work.
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