Winter is the cold season and colds season. Unfortunately, the weather after Christmas looks like it will get colder before the thaw starts. That’s almost a guarantee that at least one person in the house will get the sniffles. And darn if he or she doesn’t spread the virus around. Before you realize it, everyone in the house has been knocked down by runny noses. There doesn’t seem to be any way to hide from it, really. And snuggling just ain’t as much fun when you’re sick, is it? Not when you feel fatigued with aching muscles, a headache, and fever to boot.
There are many helpful remedies for the common cold. Natural cold remedies include zinc gluconate lozenges that can supposedly cut the time the cold lasts, nasal irrigation to flush the mucus and bacteria out, hot ginger and lemon tea to soothe the throat and even herbal cures like Echinacea. Older women (actually the younger ones, too) will swear by the healing powers of chicken soup and good ol’ vitamin C. And when all else fails, over-the-counter drugs may do the trick.
There are also a number of ways to actually avoid getting it in the first place. These include loading up on vitamins, keeping your hands clean, not shaking the hands of anyone with a cold, to begin with (and washing if you already did), getting flu shots, working out, eating healthy and pretty much keeping yourself and your surroundings clean and sanitized.
But there’s one surprising way to keep colds at bay that you may not have realized- sleeping.
Yep, studies have shown that getting enough good quality sleep can help decrease the chances of getting a cold. How? Well, getting a nice, long sleep helps maintain your immune system throughout the year.
You should know that the reverse is also true. According to a recent study, people who get 7 hours of sleep or less are already 3 times more likely to get sick compared to people who regularly get 8 hours of snooze time. Lose even just a bit of sleep and you already increase your chances of coming down with a cold. How little is “a bit”? Those who normally get 8 hours of z’s can increase the likelihood of catching a cold even if they just lose 10 minutes of sleep on a regular night.
Nobody likes being out with a cold. That’s a fact. So if you don’t fancy spending the day indoors with a clogged nose and a bad headache, then make sure you get ample sleep. It’s by far the easiest way to keep the colds at bay.