We’ve all heard the old adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ but here at The Sleep Council our mantra is ‘sleep well every day to keep the doctor away’!
Unfortunately you can’t hide from the cold and flu season but you can take steps to keep yourself from getting sick. In fact, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from colds and flu is to maintain your immune system by making sure you get plenty of sleep every night
And a recent study proves this. The research found that lack of sleep is the most important factor in determining whether someone will catch a cold – with those sleeping less than six hours per night being four times more likely to get ill than those who manage at least seven hours.
Our Sleeptember campaign, which runs for the whole of September, looks into the benefits of a good night’s sleep and health is top of the list.
Lack of sleep suppresses your immune system making you more vulnerable to infections and metabolic and hormone changes. Research has found that getting a good night’s sleep strengthens the immune response suggesting that the release of certain hormones during sleep boosts the immune system.
If you do find yourself suffering with the sniffles it’s even more important to get a good night’s rest – it really is one of the best medicines! Sleep helps your body fight the infection that’s causing you to feel ill so having a good eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is essential for recovery. Without it we can feel grumpy and over tired the next day. Taking to our beds to relax can make a real difference to the way our body copes with a heavy cold.
With more than a third of us sleeping less than six hours a night, it’s important we take steps to improve our sleep habits. While it’s key to eat well and exercise for our health and wellbeing, it’s also vital we get enough quality sleep. Poor sleep is linked to chronic illnesses, disease susceptibility, obesity and even premature death. It also causes car crashes, industrial disasters and medical errors.
For more sleep advice and how to improve your sleep habits and bedroom environment, click here.