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Can getting enough sleep prevent colds?

That bug that's going around? Until it's moved to the next zip code, put yourself to bed early.

In a two-week study, getting a little less sleep, under seven hours instead of eight or more, made people three times more likely to get sick after exposure to a cold virus. Now that's something to sleep on.

When Quality Matters: Seems your immune system takes a hit from both lack of sleep and poor sleep. In fact, poor sleep may have an even bigger impact than short sleep. People in the study were five times more likely to get sick when their sleep quality dipped, even if it just dipped a smidge.

Deprivation Dampens Immunity: Two important weapons your immune system needs to fight disease: natural killer cells and interleukin-2. But poor sleep impairs them both, so amp these immune-system helpers back up with these sound-slumber strategies:

  • Dive deep – into sleep that is.
  • Step away from the laptop. Surfing the Web just before bed can keep you awake all night.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene habits.

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    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.