sleep_love.jpg“What would you do if you knew that every good thing in your life depended on your getting enough rest? Because it does.”
– Martha Beck, “Steering by Starlight”

Last winter I was sick pretty much from December to April, felled by one cold/flu brew after another. I’m still not exactly sure why–I usually escape with two colds a year. But I was a) Nursing a bruised heart and b) Getting up really early to practice yoga–and cutting my sleep by about two hours a night to do so. The former equals lots of stress, which we know can impair immunity, and the latter, according to another new study, also gives our white blood cells a run for their… plasma?

A post on the New York Times’ Well blog summarized the latest large-scale sleep/immunity study like this:

In a recent study for The Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists followed 153 men and women for two weeks, keeping track of their quality and duration of sleep. Then, during a five-day period, they quarantined the subjects and exposed them to cold viruses. Those who slept an average of fewer than seven hours a night, it turned out, were three times as likely to get sick as those who averaged at least eight hours.”

Three times more likely? That makes total sense, but, yikes. I was definitley getting six to seven hours. And, all of this is coming now because, having just re-booted my morning yoga program, I’m getting sick again! Save me Dr. Schulze’s Super Tonic!

I guess I didn’t quite correlate this before–studies show sleep can also affect cognition (har). But now I’m renewing my commitment to getting those eight hours. Which, frankly, should not be such a hardship. I’ve got no family to tend, wild parties to go to, and I’m pretty sure JCrew.com will be cool if I lay off the purchaseless shopping for a while. 

Oy, though, this seems to happen so often in our stressy world–in an effort to get healthier, we do one nice thing for ourselves only to upset our overall health balance. Cook at home more, sleep less. Sleep more, exercise less. Do you find this? How do you balance sleep and exercise and eating well? I’ll put your tips together in a handy post for us all. Thanks!

[Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London2007_img_5449.jpg]  

Related Articles:

10 Ways to Stay Positive When You’re Sick

Why Salt Water Gargling Is Good for Your Throat

Your Natural Cold Remedies

Scenes From a Headcold

Swine Flu Prevention Tips

Be Well with Handwashing

To Take a Sick Day or Not to Take a Sick Day?

 

Like what you see? Click here to subscribe and get Fresh Living in your in-box every day!

 

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

This is the post in which we say goodbye.  We’re both leaving our respective jobs at Beliefnet, and so it’s time to step away from the blog. So, this is the post in which we say goodbye…by saying thank you.  Thank you to you, the readers, for clicking and visiting and sharing the myriad ways […]

Are you a frustrated dreamer? I know I am. I often wake up with fragments of scenes echoing in my mind that seem really meaningful–but then I leap out of bed, start my morning routine, and in seconds they’re gone. I want to linger in that realm and tap into the guidance and insight rising […]

Because I lack an engineering degree and don’t understand why we can’t just stop this thing NOW with a 10-ton wad of gum or giant boulder or massive Q-tip, I’ll share more spiritual wisdom from elders. This is from the beautiful, amazing International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers–they each represent a continent and a native […]

“Worry is a prayer for something you don’t want.” – Sharon Gannon I love that. The other day someone expressed concern about my excessive worrying habit, and I’ve been contemplating on it ever since. Doing my best to actually contemplate, rather than worry. I’ve been on a renewed Gilmore Girls binge lately and last night as Lorelai, […]