Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sleep clinic.

A version of this article from the L.A. Times appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning, headlined "If you sleep more, you may sneeze less."  Some highlights:
"The longer you sleep, the better off you are, the less susceptible you are to colds," said lead author Sheldon Cohen, who studies the effects of stress on health at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University.  Prior research has suggested that sleep boosts the immune system at the cell level. This is the first study to show small sleep disturbances increasing the risk of getting sick, said Dr. Michael Irwin. 


The people who slept less than seven hours a night in the weeks before they were exposed to the virus were three times more likely to catch a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.
 and finally 

Sleeping fitfully also was tied to greater risk of catching a cold. Those who tossed and turned more than 8 percent of their time in bed were five times more likely to get sick than those who were sleepless only 2 percent of the time. 

So:  if you sleep seven hours, you're basically saying to the virus, I want you for my very own.  Sleeping fitfully?  It's like a mating dance you're doing for the virus.  And the advice of the experts:  "The message is to maintain regular sleep habits because those are really critical for health," Irwin said. 

No, let me just repeat that in case you missed its perspicacity, and in a larger font size, and indented: 

"The message is to maintain regular sleep habits because those are really critical for health," Irwin said. 

Oh, thank you.  How very helpful.  I will telepathically communicate my gratitude for this advice to the researchers tonight, while I'm tossing and turning during my less than eight hours of sleep.



  1. I haven't had a good night's sleep in 6 years, and yes- I currently have a cold.

  2. Get a flu jab and then you can submit to insomnia and stay healthy (thereby not being able to swing a few days off work and indulge in some serious day time telly watching). Lose-lose situation I tell ya.

  3. I love this research because it makes me feel less guilty about the loads of sleep I have been indulging in lately. the beauty of working at home and not having much of a social life in the new city. . .

  4. Okay, okay. But there is this about women of a certain age: "Women who regularly sleep more than nine hours a night may increase their risk of ischemic stroke, researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association today." Those who sleep seven or fewer hours are healthier. And I understand that geniuses of a certain kind--particularly those who are brilliant poets, grandmothers, and cooks--find their genius cruelly but surely fed by fitful sleep. Genius must have its way.

  5. Yeah, nothing makes me sleep by being told how very important sleep is. And how if I would just sleep, everything would be better. Nope, that doesn't keep me up at all.



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