It was one of those colds that hangs out mostly in your head -- coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing -- but was also accompanied by a HUGE loss of energy. I was so wiped out that I ended up staying home on New Year's Eve, surfing the boob tube with Matthew.
No telling where -- or when -- I caught it, of course.
Or, even WHY. I assumed it was because of the change in climate and not being used to the cold weather, combined with the stress of the holidays and the travel. But now, a new study reported in Reuters points to another possible culprit: Loss of sleep. According to the study, people who get less than seven hours of sleep nightly are three times more likely to come down with a cold than those who sleep enough. (Your whole immune system is apparently compromised by loss of zzz's.) And this vulnerability can kick in very quickly: The test subjects' sleep patterns were recorded for only two weeks before the experiment began.
The end of 2008 was certainly a time of interrupted sleep for me, what with all that was going on: the new job -- then losing it -- then holiday preparations, then spending time with Matthew's visiting relatives, then going away for Christmas myself.
Just another ironic fact of life: During times of busyness and stress in our lives, when we seldom are able to get enough sleep, these are the times we need our sleep the most!