Better sleep means fewer colds this winter

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Did you know when you miss out on sleep it's harder for your body to fight off germs? From the common cold to cancer, sleep deprivation weakens your immune system and you become more vulnerable to infections.

1. The Common Cold
A study that looked at how long and how well people were sleeping has shown that those who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times more likely to catch the common cold than those who sleep eight hours or more.

It also showed that those who battle to fall asleep or wake frequently are five times more likely than those who slept well to develop a cold.

2. Cancer
Another study showed that a lack of sleep increases your chance of developing cancer. Melatonin (the hormone your brain releases at night as you are falling asleep) does a great job at mopping up cancer cells and destroying tumours, but can only get to work when you're sleeping. Delay bedtime and you delay cancer clean up.

3. Diabetes
People who do not sleep well were also more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. Lack of sleep disrupts the metabolism and causes insulin spikes. Over a period of time, those who worked at night or did not get enough sleep, had an increased risk of developing central obesity and diabetes.

Sleep is your body’s best defense against disease so make sure you get enough shut-eye. Whether it's a lifestyle change or a new mattress, make sleep a priority in your life.

Want to undo your sleep deprivation? Read more:

Here's how you can catch up on lost sleep

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