Getting good, quality sleep is known to impact overall health and a recent study indicates it may actually help keep you from getting sick.
The recent study was published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Researchers wanted to
examine the link among patients in primary care where they know that the incidence of sleep issues is much higher than in the general population.
Previous studies have shown that sleep issues raise the risk of infection. Scientists were hoping that if they could find a link to infection and a sleep mechanism they could potentially be able to reduce antibiotic use among patients and keep them from getting infections.
Over 1,800 patients in waiting rooms in Norway were given questionnaires that asked them about their sleep quality including how long they typically sleep, how well they slept and when they prefer to sleep. In addition, participants were asked if they had any infections or used any antibiotics in the past three months.
Results showed that patients who slept less than six hours (chronic insomnia) a night were 27% more likely to report an infection while those who slept more than nine hours were 44% more likely to report infection.
While the observational study was not perfect, it did highlight the need for general practitioners to talk to their patients about sleep issues as a part of assessing their overall well-being.