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Sleep is one of those things that everyone wishes they were getting, but not enough people really are. Unfortunately, missing out on your nightly Z's can do more than make you groggy or inspire a coffee addiction; it can be seriously detrimental to your health. Today, let’s explore the importance of a good night’s sleep and then talk about a few handy tips for catching more winks each and every night.

The crucial functions of sleep
Did you know that without sleep, a human being will die within 10 days? Naturally, you wouldn't go an entire day, let alone a week, without hitting the hay, but that fact should still serve to impress upon you sleep’s importance. Not only does it keep you alive, it:

  • Helps heal and repair heart vessels.
  • Decreases the risk of diabetes.
  • Decreases cravings.
  • Reboots the immune system.
  • Amplifies learning abilities.
  • Reduces risk-taking behavior.
  • Moderates anxiety and depression.

Beauty sleep: It’s a thing

As if that’s not enough, there really is such a thing as “beauty sleep.” We’re all familiar with the unfortunate effects of getting too little sleep: red and puffy eyes, dark under-eye circles, baggy-looking dull skin. As it turns out, sleep does a lot to brighten and tighten — and not just in the short term.

In fact, studies have found that sleep deprivation is linked to aging skin. Not only that, but people who haven’t had enough sleep are more likely to be critical of their skin’s appearance. How’s that for a double whammy?

More sleep! STAT!
Clearly, if you want to support your mental and physical health over the long haul, one of the best things you can do is get more sleep immediately. Doctors recommend eight hours, with seven being the minimum, and many people say they don’t feel right without eight and a half. Whatever you do, don’t drop below seven.

If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders, it’s important to seek help right away. Before opting for over-the-counter medications, though, try natural approaches such as a hot bath before bed or a sleep therapy massage. The latter uses human touch to relax the brain and stimulate natural sleep on an ongoing basis.

It’s time to get the rest you deserve, so make sleep a priority today!

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