As someone whose day begins before a lot of other people's days end, I know the value of sleep. Quite often it is a very difficult commodity to acquire even if you live a normal lifestyle. Many people equate sleep being non-productive. Nothing could be further than the truth. When we sleep, that may be when our bodies are doing the most important work of the day.

A new study from the University of California at San Francisco suggests that people who get less than five or six hours of sleep per night are setting themselves up to be sick. The study found that the lack of sleep can greatly increase your chances for catching a cold.

The Louisiana Radio Network asked Dr. Herbert Muncie a professor of Family Medicine at LSU New Orleans about the study and about the effects of not getting a good night's sleep.He explained a lack of sleep can greatly affect the body's immune system.He explained what happens when we sleep.

Allows our body to recuperate from whatever we’ve been doing during the day and sort of allow the immune system to be appropriately gauged to deal with the viruses and bacteria we come in contact with.

Now don't get caught in the trap of if a little is good, a lot is great, because too much sleep can be a sign of other issues.

So it looks like more than six is necessary but certainly when you start getting up past nine, it may be another indication of an issue going on. So that seven or eight probably is the sweet spot to be at.

Dr. Muncie went on to say that it doesn't matter how old you are, your gender, your ethnicity, sleep is the key to living a healthy life. Or we should say, the right amount of sleep is one of the keys like a healthy diet and exercise.