If you want to stay healthy and not get a cold, the flu or even pneumonia, your best protection is a good night's sleep. And the opposite is also true. Sleep too little and you put your body at a far higher risk of getting an infection, reports HealthDay News of research from the University of California, San Francisco. Led by psychologist Aric Prather, the study examined data from the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys (NHANES) that were conducted from 2005 to 2012, specifically looking at the records of nearly 23,000 men and women with an average age of 46. The study volunteers reported how long they slept, whether they had sleep problems or sleep disorders and whether they had a cold or other infection such as the flu, pneumonia or an ear infection in the previous month. The results:
  • Those who sleep five or fewer hours a night have a 28 percent higher risk of catching a cold than people who sleep seven or eight hours a night.
  • In addition, the short sleepers have a whopping 80 percent greater chance of contracting flu, ear infections and pneumonia.
  • Those who suffer from a sleep disorder have a 30 percent higher risk of getting sick.


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