This is part of a series of articles on Covid-19, please click here to see all of them…
This is my first blog post in a couple of years, as I’ve finally found motivation to share my health advice in time of need. I moved away from Beijing four years ago but we still have family, friends and colleagues across China, and suddenly I am in the COVID-19 epicenter in the USA, here in the Seattle area. Everyone’s concerned, and there’s a slew of misinformation out there. So here’s my first in a series of tips about how to prevent and treat COVID-19.
Tip #1: Healthy Sleep (at least 7 hours)
I’ve seen a lot of articles these past few weeks discussing prevention, but none have mentioned what I feel is a clear winner: healthy sleep helps to fight virus infections. One of my favorite studies, , took 153 people and literally infected them with rhinovirus by squirting it up their noses. They followed them for five more days and measured sleep length and efficiency. The data was clear: those who got less than 7 hours were three times more likely to develop symptoms than those who slept longer. A , which showed more impressive results: those who slept under 5-6 hours were over 4 times more likely to develop symptoms than those who slept over 7 hours.
This is crucial to understand during our current severe flu season and coronavirus scare; even if we are exposed to a virus, that doesn’t mean we get symptoms. If we get good sleep, our refreshed immune system can kill off those viruses — and you won’t even know you had it.
Since don’t get the recommended 7+ hours of sleep, many of us are at higher risk for any infections. If you’re scraping by with 5-6 hours every night, try to fix that! That’s tough for many — but the data is clear, so do your best, especially over these next few weeks.
Stay safe, everyone. And feel free to leave comments, I’d love to hear how people in China are getting through all of this. Also, what else would you like to read about?
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