The cold and flu season is quickly approaching. This year it is more important than ever to protect yourself not only from the seasonal flu, but also from the contagious H1N1 virus or “swine flu”.
So what are the easiest ways to avoid contracting the flu?
It may be as easy as practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face and avoid contact with people who are sick. The CDC also advises getting plenty of sleep to help your body maintain a strong immune system.
A New York Times blog post found that if you are sleeping poorly you are more likely to catch a cold. Scientists think that this relationship highlights the importance of sleep to your health.
A study published earlier this year in the journal Sleep shows that your immune system can be affected by sleep deprivation. Levels of proteins associated with inflammation increase when you are not getting the sleep you need.
In May, the Sleep Education blog reported that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are three times more likely to get sick.
The AASM recommends that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Learn more about how sleep can affect you at Sleep Education.com.