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Boston Globe: "Good night's sleep may prevent a cold, study finds"

January 13, 2009

By Boston Globe Correspondent Elizabeth Cooney

"Getting a good night's sleep might not cure the common cold, but new research hints it could prevent one. People who averaged less than seven hours of sleep a night were about three times more likely to develop cold symptoms than study volunteers who got eight or more hours of sleep, Pittsburgh researchers reported yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

'This is a huge effect,' Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in an interview.  'These results really fit in very well with what has been becoming increasingly clear, which is that sleep has major effects not only on the brain in terms of alertness and performance, but also on the health of the body.'

These findings are consistent with what other studies have found. In earlier research cited in the Archives article, researchers deprived people of sleep and then compared their response to a flu shot with the response of people who got their normal amount of sleep. The sleep-deprived subjects developed half the number of antibodies from their flu vaccinations that the other subjects did, suggesting sleep helps the immune system mount a more robust defense against disease."

Read the entire article on the Boston Globe website.


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