Cold prevention doesn’t stop with what we eat.
Imagine signing up to participate in a Carnegie Mellon University-headed study to measure how long and well you sleep. Sounds harmless enough, right?
Then, however, you learn you’re going to have a cold virus dripped directly into your nose. This was just the case with 153 healthy men and women aged 21 to 55.
For two weeks, they recorded their hours of actual sleep each night and how rested they felt the next morning. After receiving nasal drops containing a common-cold rhinovirus, they were quarantined and monitored for five days.
That they’d all come down with symptoms seemed inevitable, but wasn’t the case at all!
What the researchers learned was that sleeping less than seven hours a night increased the likelihood of getting a cold almost 300 percent compared to sleeping eight hours or more.
And those who rated “feeling rested” at less than 92 percent were 5.5 times more likely to catch a cold than those with a rating over 98 percent!
In this NutritionFacts video reviewing the study, Dr. Michael Greger attributes its results to the sleep/immune system connection:
“Now, you’d think if someone squirted virus right up your nose, you’d definitely get sick. But no. It really depends on your immune system. Someone with a cold can sneeze dead in your face – but if you have a good enough immune system, you won’t get sick… Those getting enough sleep were three to five times more likely to beat the virus.”
With the flu season on us and a pandemic running loose, getting eight hours of nightly sleep has never been more important.
So how about hitting both health threats with a one-two punch? Boost your sleep efficiency AND your immune system by eating a kiwi or two for dessert each night!