It's that time of year again, when colds run rampant in homes everywhere. The weather isn't the cause but fall and winter, with its frigid temps and more and more people staying indoors, and it's easy to fall ill.

You know the drill. A tickly, maybe itchy throat. A slight sniffle. The odd sneeze. And then — bam! It hits you like a punch in the runny nose.

So if you want to keep the sickness at bay, here's what you need to do, at least according to a recent study: sleep.

Published in the aptly titled journal Sleep, researchers discovered that people who average five to six hours of sleep each night are four times more likely to catch a cold than someone who's out for seven or more.

It makes sense, right? By giving your body the right amount of rest boosts your immunity, making it easier to fight viruses.

So next time your kid walks in wiping his nose on his sleeve, or your co-worker comes to work sneezing, don't sweat it. Just go to bed a little early, sleep like a baby, and it'll be all good.

Image credits: Thinkstock

denette_bio11.jpgDenette Wilford is a writer dabbling in the worlds of lifestyle, sports and entertainment. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post Canada, The Loop, The TV Junkies, 24 Hours Toronto and TV Guide Canada. Follow her on Twitter @DenetteWilford