A good quality sleep is more important than the recommended seven to nine hours when it comes to keeping illness at bay, according to a study.
New research has found that people who don’t get good or adequate sleep are almost three times more likely to contract colds, flu and other illnesses like Covid-19.
However, it has also been shown that good quality sleep can effectively compensate for less than the recommended amount of sleep when it comes to boosting the immune system and fighting viral infections.
Prof Neil Walsh of Liverpool John Moores University said his team’s findings – published in the journal Sleep – “changing the way we should think about sleep and health”.
The lead researcher said: “Sleep is important for mental and physical health, including our ability to fight infection.
“The UK National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep seven to nine hours a night.
“Yet many of us restrict our sleep to make room for our busy lives.
“But if you limit your sleep, you won’t necessarily get sick — it really depends on your quality.”
The scientists followed 1,318 recruits into the military for twelve weeks.
Her work consisted of tracking the participants’ sleep patterns and health in the weeks leading up to training and after they joined the military, where they had to follow strict wake-up routines.
On average, participants slept two hours less during military training than in civilian life.
However, the researchers found that more than half with sleep restrictions rated their sleep as good quality.
Recruits who reported trouble sleeping during training were nearly three times more likely to suffer from respiratory infections, they found.
The researchers found that sleep restriction only increased infection in those reporting poor sleep quality, while good sleep quality protected against respiratory illness despite the shorter duration.
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/more-snores-means-fewer-sneezes-study-finds-sleep-quality-better-for-health-42005605.html More snoring means less sneezing – study shows sleep quality is better for your health