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A new study has just given you a very convincing reason to sleep in this weekend.

Image via iStock.

From increased concentration to improved memory and general wellness, we’re all aware sleep does good things for our health.

Yet despite what every wise adult in your life has told you, there’s never been a proven link between lack of sleep and susceptibility to illness – until now, that is.

Yes, it seems your leisurely lie-in could save you from the common cold. A new study, published in the September issue of Sleep journal, has concluded the number of hours you sleep has an impact on your immunity to viruses.

Researchers recruited 164 healthy men and women and tracked their sleep for a week, using wrist-based sleep trackers and sleep diaries.

The participants were then injected with a live cold virus (...shudder) and quarantined in a hotel for researchers to monitor them for a further five days. Factors like their existing health levels and anti-bodies, BMI and psychological elements weren't taken into consideration.

The results demonstrated participants who slept for less than five hours per night were four and a half times more likely to catch a cold than those who hit six hours. They were only four times more likely to be struck down with the sniffles.

The real winners here were the subjects who clocked more than seven hours of sleep per night; researchers found they were at no greater risk of catching a cold(Post continues after gallery.)

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This isn't the first time a connection has been drawn between poor sleep and depressed immunity; however, the subjective and unreliable methods used in prior studies meant no scientific generalisations could be made.

So if you're the kind of person who's always struck down with the sniffles, and you know your sleep pattern is all over the place, pull the covers over your head for a little longer.

We're definitely going to feel justified in pushing the snooze button tomorrow morning. Thanks science.

Do you get a lot of sleep?

Tags: colds , health , sleep-2
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