As it has such far-reaching repercussions our health and immune system, it is little wonder that scientists are doing all they can to examine how it affects us.
In the past week, a big study, said Health.com, published in the October issue of the journal Sleep involving more than 54,000 Americans aged 45 and older in 14 states, revealed that short sleepers were more likely to have heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and mental illness.
Another study delved a bit further and found that if you sleep between six to eight hours, you could help cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by half.
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People who don't get at least six hours regularly a night were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart disease, reported The Daily Mail, and had nearly a 70% risk of congestive heart failure, which means the heart can't pump blood efficiently.
The study was published online in the journal Clinical Cardiology, and lead author Dr Saurabh Aggarwal, of Chicago Medical School, said: "People whose sleep duration is at the extremes are at the highest risk of cardiovascular events, and the risk decreases as the number reaches a middle point. Six to eight hours is the best period of sleep duration according to this study."
Other health benefits of getting a good night's sleep: