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Sleep Better, Fight Colds!

Trying to prevent a cold? Make sure you’re getting plenty of shut-eye! Did you know that most people need about eight hours of good quality sleep a night to function properly? A lot of adults aim for that ideal seven- to nine-hour range of sleep, but many fall short because of sickness, work, or worry keeping them awake. But getting enough sleep helps you be more productive and less irritable the next day, a good thing for everyone involved! Below you will find even more reasons to sleep and ways to ensure that you get some more shut-eye–read on!

sleepProven Study

A recent study, published in the journal Sleep, has found that people who sleep six hours a night or less are more likely to catch colds when exposed to the rhinovirus. In this study, healthy volunteers were asked to wear a wrist sensor that tracked their normal sleep habits for one week. They were then given nasal drops containing rhinovirus and quarantined in a hotel for five days under close observation to see how many got colds.

The researchers found that those who slept less than seven hours a night were more susceptible to getting colds. However, those who got seven or more hours of sleep each night were not as susceptible to catching colds. Getting broken sleep did not appear to make any difference – it came down to the amount of hours that each participant slept per night. This supported the theory that poor sleep suppresses one’s immunity while good sleep acts as an immunity boost.

Reasons to Get Enough Sleep

We normally think of sleep in terms of not getting enough–which makes us tired, moody, unfocused, and so on. But what are the benefits of sleeping more than you already are?

  • Fewer coldssleep
  • Increased immunity
  • Less fatigue
  • Less moodiness and more overall positivity
  • Better concentration
  • Lower risk of obesity
  • Less prone to accidents
  • Improved memory
  • Less inflammation and lower blood levels
  • Increased creativity
  • Less stress
  • Lower risk of depression
  • Longer life
  • And more!

When you sleep, your body “resets” after a long day and fights off colds and infections that you’re exposed to. In addition to this, your muscles relax, your mind is rejuvenated, and tissue and cells grow and even repair themselves. In short, we owe it to our bodies to get plenty of sleep!

How to Get More Sleep

So now you know all the great things that sleeping provides, but you’re still struggling to fit in more sleep or to even fall asleep. Here are a few tips for getting more of the sleep you need (and want):

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Try going to bed and waking up around the same time each day; this consistency will reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
  • Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed, and don’t drink caffeine or alcohol too close to bedtime.
  • Start a relaxing bedtime ritual, like taking a warm shower or reading a book.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet so you’re comfortable enough to fall asleep.
  • Limit any daytime naps to about 10 to 30 minutes.
  • Exercise earlier in the day for energy all day and a restful night.
  • Manage stress in healthy ways–talk to a good friend or your caregiver, or jot down what’s on your mind so you can take care of it in the morning.
  • If you do catch a cold, see your doctor. He or she can recommend medication that will help you feel (and sleep) better.

Your Angels home health aide can be incredibly helpful in keeping you on track with a sleep schedule and relaxing bedtime ritual. Make sure your getting those Z’s to fight off colds and stay energized for your next adventure!


Facebook_Ad_image-01 (1)Angels Senior Home Solutions is a based-in-faith company that provides in-home healthcare and personal care services for seniors. Visit our website here or find us on Facebook or Twitter!

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