Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sleep is nature's cold cure

Here's how things work in reverse. Research from Carnegie Mellon University, published last week, shows that sleeping less than seven hours a night trebles the risk of catching a cold. Lack of sleep means that the immune system is weakened. So all of us worker ants buying those sticky bottles of cold cures might be better off sleeping longer and that way we might avoid catching the cold in the first place.

But when did common sense ever get its way? Instead, we work long hours and go home late, we get distracted by TV or the internet and stay up too late, but still have to get up early the next morning. So we reduce the hours of sleeping. By missing out on sleep, we raise the risk of getting a cold. Once we catch the cold, we have to take time off work to get better.

So by working long hours and losing out on sleep, we end up being less productive. Getting eight or more hours sleep isn't being a slacker, it's a way of making our working lives more effective. Having a lie-in could be a way of cutting the number of sick days. Sleep might be nature's cold remedy.


  1. Yes, that's quite right. Prevention and cure etc. But sleep doesn't sound like cure, it sounds like skiving.

  2. Yes, wouldn't it be much better if doctors could prescribe sleep, not just as a cure but as a prevention. A long luxurious sleep. Do not disturb. Maximum zeds.