Are you already dreading the upcoming cold season? There really is one simple trick to avoid getting sick this winter, and if you pay attention to your body, you’re probably already doing it.

Researchers took 164 healthy people and monitored them for a week, then gave them nasal drops of the cold virus to see who would get sick. When all was said and done it turned out that the greatest predictive factor in whether or not they got a cold was how much sleep they got each night. Subjects who got less than six hours of sleep a night were four times more likely to catch a cold than their fellow study participants. Sleep was the single biggest factor in determining whether somebody would catch a cold or not — even greater than smoking.

As an added bonus, avoiding a winter cold isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from getting enough sleep. You can also expect better weight control, an improved mood, clearer thinking, and a lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention how good you feel after a good night’s sleep.

If you’re having a hard time going to sleep at night, consider making a few changes to your daily routine. Powering down (or at least avoiding) looking at computer and phone screens for at least an hour before you go to bed can help. You could also create a sleep schedule, take up meditation, have a few go-to yoga poses, or make your room more sleep-friendly.

Winter’s long nights make a lot of people naturally get more sleep, but you don’t want to get too much. Oversleeping has been linked to diabetes, obesity, headaches, and heart disease. For adults 18 to 64, the recommended amount of sleep is seven to nine hours a night. For people over 64, the recommendation is seven to eight hours.

If you think you’re too busy with work to get enough sleep, just remember you might end up missing even more work because you get sick. Add to that the misery of having a cold, and it seems obvious that you should make the time for yourself to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Try to get more sleep this winter to avoid a cold, and you might stick with it for better year-round health; it’s always just seven hours away.