Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wake up to more sleep

Cheating on Z's invites health problems, research shows


December 08, 2009|By Bob Condor, SPECIAL TO TRIBUNE NEWSPAPERS

Getting enough sleep? Sleep is the most underrated part of staying healthy, whether it's the holiday season or not. And let's settle this right now: Adults need seven to eight hours every night for optimal health.

But what makes this wellness strategy so effective - and not just folksy health talk - is the deeper benefits that regular sleep provides to the body. It might just be the best healthy step you can take during the holidays. For example, studies show adults who regularly cheat themselves of sleep by two to three hours are much more likely to die of cardiovascular problems.

In 2008, British researchers found that women who sleep less than the suggested eight hours per night are at higher risk for heart disease than a man not getting the full number of hours. The key factor was raised inflammatory markers in the women's blood.

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