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You already know switching your sleep position can stave off Alzheimer's. Now there's another reason to make sure you're getting the right kind of rest: Sleeping at least seven hours a night cuts your chances of catching a cold--by a lot.
That was the surprising result of a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. People who got less than six hours of z's a night were four times more likely to come down with a cold than people who slept seven hours or more. Sleep was so important, in fact, it outweighed other risk factors, like stress levels, lack of exercise, age, and the time of year.
What's the connection between a good night's rest and your body's chances of warding off a runny nose and a hacking cough? Researchers aren't sure, but they suspect it has something to do with the way a lack of sleep plays havoc with your immune system. Not enough shuteye means your infection-fighting cells deploy to your blood stream instead of your lymph nodes, where they are better able to fight off viruses.
The bottom line: Change your bedtime habits now, so you'll be in better shape to fight off those nasty cold bugs this winter.