Lack Of Sleep Really Does Make You Sick, Plus 4 Other Things Mom Was Totally Right About
Like every good parent, my mom is always concerned that I'm not getting enough vitamins or food or money or boyfriends or sleep. Especially sleep. And while she may be overreacting a bit when it comes to, say, my love life, it turns out that she was pretty spot on about the whole sleep thing. A recent study found that lack of sleep does actually make you sick. I'm shocked she hasn't already sent me 50 million emails about it yet.
Researchers from UC San Francisco and the University of Pittsburgh Medical School have found a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and the common cold. Their study, published in the journal Sleep , determined that people who slept for six hours were four times more likely to become sick than people who slept for at least seven hours. As someone who has a terrible immune system, this is magic to my ears.
The scientists conducted the study with 164 adults of varying backgrounds — age, weight, drinking habits, smoking habits, education and socioeconomic levels were all noted. Their sleep was monitored for a week, and then the participants were quarantined in a hotel room after receiving a cold virus. I sincerely hope they were warned ahead of time what they were getting to, because that sounds terrible.
Thank goodness for these people donating their bodies to science. Regardless of their personal histories and overall health, people were most notably affected by lack of sleep. Those with six hours were 4.2 times more likely to get sick, and those with five hours were 4.5 times more likely to catch the cold. Gross. I'll be sleeping 10 hours a night from now on.
As much as I hate to admit it, enough sleep is not the only thing Mom was right about. There are a few more things. I guess. Ugh.
1. Wash Your Makeup Off Each Night
My mother is constantly getting on me for waking up with "black under my eyes" — which, apparently, is causing my pores to clog and become enlarged. Another fun fact is that since I'm no longer a teen, my skin is producing less collagen and my pores won't necessarily shrink back. Cool. Fine. I'll start washing my face before bed because that sounds like a terrible look for me.
2. Make Your Bed
Ughhhhhhh, Mooooooom, it's too early to do choooooooores... even though studies have shown that making your bed can lower stress levels and help you establish a positive routine. Maybe I like being stressed. You don't know me.
(Yes, you do, Mom. Sorry for sassing you).
3. Wear Sunscreen. And a Sun Hat. And a Sun Shirt.
There is no sensation I detest more than being slathered in cold, slimy sunscreen, but at this point, it's like a "well known fact" or whatever that sunscreen is pretty much a lifesaver. Literally.
Mom, I'm still not wearing a sun shirt, though. I'm too cool for that.
4. Don't Read in the Dark
Reading in the dark, or in dim lighting, does cause eye strain. Fine. And no, I do not want to regress to my third grade look of giant purple bifocals. However, that does not mean that I need to turn on literally every light in the entire house if I'm reading in bed.