You Really Are More Likely to Get Sick When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep, Small Study Suggests: from the NJEM
Sleeping less than six hours at night is associated with an increased risk for developing a cold following rhinovirus exposure, according to a small, prospective study in Sleep.
Some 160 healthy participants had their sleep measured by wrist actigraphy for 1 week and were subsequently quarantined and given nasal drops containing rhinovirus 39.
Over 5 days, roughly 30% of participants developed a cold, defined as viral infection plus total mucus weight of at least 10 g or a total adjusted nasal clearance time of 35 minutes or more. After adjustment for potential confounders, participants who slept fewer than 6 hours a night were at roughly four times greater risk for developing a cold compared with those who got over 7 hours of sleep.
The authors speculate that their results “may have been due to increased susceptibility to infection and/or increased illness expression among those infected.”