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Don’t want a cold? Then get some sleep!

Too many of us are going to stay up past our regular bedtime to catch Stephen Colbert’s first night as host of “The Late Show.”

Let’s not make this a habit, OK?

Oh, it’s not like I have anything against my fellow Northwestern alum. I think he’s great. It’s just that I know the importance of sleep. Consider the results of a new study.

The New York Times just had a story on this study that looked at how not getting enough of sleep makes folks susceptible to colds. Everyone always figured that was true, but previous studies had to rely mainly on the reporting of its subjects.

This study used new technology and sleep diaries of its subjects, providing a more accurate account, according to the Times. The 164 study participants spent a week at a time (from 2007 to 2011) in a hotel where they were monitored and given nasal drops that included a cold virus. (Talk about taking one for the team!)

The results showed that those who had less than six hours a night of sleep the week before were four times more likely to get the cold, the Times story says.

We’re moving into cold season, so it’s a good idea to turn the TV and other electronics off and get a good night’s sleep, as this story suggests. There are all sorts of ways you can catch up with Colbert and the rest of late-night TV the next day. Do that instead.

PHOTO: Copyright Corbis