Cold Prevention: To Stave Off The Common Cold, Get Good Night's Sleep!

12/16/2010 12:58 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

As flu season rears its ugly head once again, many people are stocking up their medicine cabinets and popping vitamin C with hopes of avoiding the common cold. But the solution might come down to something much simpler than that: getting a good night's sleep.

According to a study fromThe Archives of Internal Medicine, the quality and duration of sleep greatly influence one's susceptibility to the common cold. That's right, it's not just how much sleep you get -- quality of sleep matters just as much, if not more.

The study tested two factors, duration -- the time spent attempting sleep (turn off the lights and lay in bed) and efficiency (the percentage of time actually asleep, when the body is unconsciously resting, dreaming, etc). Results suggested that efficiency was more of a predictor of illness than duration.

Participants were quarantined and monitored for cold development. The study found that people who got less than seven hours of sleep were roughly three times more likely to develop a cold than those with who got eight hours or more. And people who reported high efficient sleep --better quality -- were five times less likely to develop the common cold than those who reported lower efficient sleep levels.

For more information read the complete study at The Archives of Internal Medicine.