There is some evidence to support the idea that a lack of, or insufficient sleep increases the likeliness of catching a cold. In a study conducted by researchers from the U.S., the sleep of 164 participants was assessed over a week. Those in the study were then given some nasal drops containing rhinovirus and monitored for five days to see if they developed signs of a cold.
As assessed by actigraphs – watch-like devices – those who slept for short periods – up to six hours a night – were more likely to develop a cold than those who slept for longer periods – over seven hours a night. This finding chimes well with other research showing that if we miss out on sleep for even a single night, our immune system is compromised.
* With mention of Tebogo Dlamini and Very Interesting magazine