Can we do anything to prevent a cold? Yes, we can. If our immune system is strong, the risk of getting a cold decreases markedly.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania, USA) studied 153 healthy men and women, ages 21 to 55 years, who reported daily on their sleep duration and quality for two weeks. Participants were then quarantined in separate rooms for 5 days and exposed to rhinovirus (the virus that is responsible for the common cold). As a result, 35.3% of subjects developed a clinical cold and 43.1% self-reported the presence of cold symptoms. The researchers found that those study subjects with shorter duration of sleep and poorer sleep efficiency were at significantly increased risk of developing a cold.
The restorative role of sleep is often underestimated. In that too little sleep has been found to compromise many of the body’s biological processes, including immune function, be sure to achieve sleep of a sufficient duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert for the day.