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Why You Really Need More Sleep

By Ashley Hume
Posted On Apr 16, 2016
Why You Really Need More Sleep

Ever wonder why you might be catching the common cold more often? Well, the answer could be found in the amount of sleep – or lack thereof as the case may be – you are getting in the average night. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey released a study that connected hours of rest with your body’s ability to fight illness like the common cold and infections.

The self-reported sleep patterns of 22,726 adults between 2005-2012 were analyzed in the study. Researcher discovered that those who clocked just five hours or less of shut-eye per night were 20 percent more likely to come down with a common cold than those who typically slumber for seven hours. They were also 50 percent more likely to get an infection such as the flu, pneumonia, or an ear infection.

The study also shed light on how having a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea can be extremely detrimental to your health. Approximately 50 million to 70 million Americans have either a sleep disorder or habitually insufficient sleep. Individuals who participated in the study and reported having a diagnosed sleep disorder were 88 percent more likely to have had throat or chest infections within the last 30 days than those without a sleep disorder.

The study’s author, Aric Prather, assistant professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Center for Health and Community at University of California, San Francisco, believes neither individuals themselves nor medical professionals place enough emphasis on the importance of sleep.

He told The Huffington Post, “Sleep has consistently taken a back seat to other health behaviors when it comes to investment, both on the part of the individual who is thinking about his or her health, as well as institutions, including the health care system. Sleep is central to health — and our health might depend on it.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Do yourself a favor and improve your overall health by making the time to catch some extra Z’s every night.