I almost got another cold recently. Two colds in less than 3 months is a little odd for me. I decided to eat more and nap more once I felt this second cold coming on (i.e. the sore throat and people around me already displaying signs of having a full blown cold). I still only got 5 hours of sleep, but I took 4 naps throughout the day instead of two. I did this before to no avail, but my body seems to be responding better to naps than before. In either case, the cold went away within a day. I think that if you are getting sick or are already sick, you will need to sleep more in the manner to which your body is currently accustomed. You should also eat more. Itís just like if you normally sleep 8 hours of sleep each night without napping at all. If you continue at a normal sleep cycle of 8 hours and the same eating routine while you are sick or getting sick, then the sickness will likely take its normal course of several days to a few weeks in length.
I used to drink 32 ounces of orange juice throughout the day. I took a thermos to work. I also brought 24 ounces of hot soup in another thermos. I would sleep 8-9 hours more or less each night. The office was very large and open with good ventilation. When I recently got a bad cold while doing the polyphasic sleep cycle, I wasnít drinking 32 ounces of OJ each day. I wasnít eating 24 ounces of hot soup. I was, as I still am, in a much smaller and far poorer ventilated office. My body was also accustomed to a bulk sleep schedule at the time. It makes sense that I got the cold and had a hard time getting rid of it.
Before that second cold started I had gotten back to getting huge amounts of vitamin C and eating 24 ounces of hot soup. So I was already taking better dietary care of myself. Like I said earlier, I then took two extra naps that day. At that juncture, my body had grown accustomed to napping a bit more than bulk sleeping in order to replenish energy. The next morning, any trace of the cold was gone. I didnít even have a sore throat the next morning. So if youíre feeling sick or worried about others getting you sick, and you canít avoid those people, then sleep that way you currently are used to and eat more and you might be able to avoid the sickness.
As a side note to anybody that may be interested in my polyphasic sleep progress:
Just a week after my last post, Iíve noticed it much easier to fall a sleep for each nap. My body, instead of my alarms, wakes me up now after only 3-4 hours of sleep at night. I admit that I made the mistake once of going back to sleep when my clock read 4 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. and pretty much just wasted away an hour. If youíre thinking of doing this polyphasic sleep schedule or are having difficulty adjusting at first, you probably donít have to worry. Just as some people on this site posted before, it takes a short while to get used to it. That short period was a little bit longer for me, but still pretty short overall. A month of adjustment, instead of 3-9 days, is still pretty good. As far as the problem of napping at extremely inconvenient times, you probably could just take a bulk sleep once a week. This way your body doesnít become totally adverse to bulk sleep (i.e. in case you need to do that occasionally). Twice I slept 6-7 hours at night and still found that I had to nap at least once in the middle of the day. This method gives you a lot more flexibility if you have an occasional hectic lifestyle. A nap a day and 6-7 hours of bulk sleep once or twice a month I wouldnít think would be a problem for most people.