Reasons Why you Get Colds When Deprived of Sleep

December 26, 2012

The Holiday Season is still at its peak and a lot of us are still running around chasing year-end deadlines at work and midnight sales in malls and bazaars. The result? Lack of sleep. The season to be merry brings with it both the frosty mornings of December and the contagious effects of the common cold. Some viruses that cause the common cold thrive on cold or wet weather. And did you know that depriving yourself of sleep makes you more susceptible to catching a cold?

Cold due to Sleep DeprivationSneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat and nasal congestion are among the symptoms of a cold. We catch a cold when our immune system is not strong enough to properly protect us from the attacks of viruses in the environment. Studies show that not getting quality sleep impairs the immune system, making us more vulnerable to both physical and mental problems. This is because it is during sleep that the body repairs itself and releases certain proteins that help us fight off viruses and bacteria. Sleeping for less than seven hours a night reduces infection-fighting antibodies and cells which makes you three times more likely to catch a cold than somebody who had a proper shuteye. Moreover, if you sleep poorly on a regular basis, you’re five times more prone to catching one as well.

The amount of sleep you get also determines your recovery. The less you sleep, the longer it will take for you to recover from illness. Also, researchers found out that people who are sleep deprived respond less to flu vaccines than those who are otherwise. How much sleep do you need to prime your immune system? Adults get by with seven to eight hours of sleep while teenagers need nine to ten hours of good sleep each night. Children, on the other hand, need around ten hours of sleep each day.

So the next time you get the idea of skimping on your sleep to procrastinate on your tasks, think again. It would be better to plan your activities ahead in order to get enough sleep at night because getting enough rest boosts the immune system, increases productivity, and will definitely make you enjoy the holidays disease-free!