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Why You Need to Sleep

5 Reasons You Need More Sleep

We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Shape here on FitSugar.

Whether you admit you need help nodding off or are still in denial about the major suitcases under your eyes, chances are you could use an intervention: a full two-thirds of Americans say they have trouble getting enough shut-eye at least once a week. That’s pretty harrowing, considering that sleep is absolutely essential for health and normal functioning.  If you need a reason to hit the sack early read on. You’ll be surprised how much skipped sleep impacts your well-being.

You'll Live Longer
Chronic insomniacs are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who sleep well, according to new research in the journal Circulation. Other studies have linked lack of sleep to a higher risk of dying from a stroke and developing breast cancer.

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You'll Look Better
It's called beauty sleep for a reason! Swedish researchers took photos of people when they were well-rested and then again when they were sleep-deprived. Strangers rated the plenty-of-z's shots as more attractive.

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You'll Be Slimmer
Women who slept five hours or fewer per night were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain over 16 years, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. “Too little sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, and a decrease in leptin, which helps you feel full,” says Northshore Sleep Medicine’s Dr. Lisa Shives.

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You'll Be Sharper
Shorting yourself on rest ages your brain by four to seven years, say researchers in London. Middle-aged women who slept fewer than six hours a night tallied scores on memory, reasoning, and vocabulary that resembled those of senior citizens.

You'll Improve Your Marriage
Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that women who have trouble sleeping have more negative interactions with their husbands the next day than those who don’t.

You'll Be Nicer
Exhaustion takes a toll on your morals, according to a recent study in the Academy of Management Journal, which showed that a lack of sleep increased deviant and unethical behavior and made people more rude.

Convinced yet? Nearly one-third of American women use some kind of sleep aid at least a few nights a week but beware of side effects, which include dizziness, sleepwalking, and even addiction. Skip the risk and try these 12 DIY steps to better sleep tonight.

To get the latest health, fitness, beauty, and fashion news, follow @Shape_Magazine on Twitter or become a fan of Shape magazine on Facebook.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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