6 Natural Cold-Prevention Strategies
How it helps: Sleep regulates the release of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates cells that boost the immune system, says William Ellert, M.D., chief medical officer of the Phoenix Baptist Hospital. And a well-tuned immune system is crucial for defending against the cold virus. Getting at least seven hours of shut-eye is the easiest way to steer clear of the common cold. In fact, a recent study indicates that people who fall short are nearly three times as likely to catch a cold. To make bedtime even more healthful, try using a protective pillow cover, which can help prevent a stuffy, runny nose.
Good to know: If you have trouble falling asleep, try a mind-calming exercise. For instance: “Go over everything you did during the day, but do it in reverse order,” says C. Evers Whyte, director of the Center for Health Renewal, in Stamford, Connecticut.