Here are 3 reasons to snooze your way to better health, courtesy of MSN .com:
First: The more you sleep, the less you weigh. If you starve yourself on sleep, your body produces less of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol regulates appetite, and controls how fast your body burns carbs. So if you skimp on sleep, you'll be eating more at each meal AND storing more of it as fat.
Next: 8 hours a day keeps the cardiologist away. Research from the University of British Columbia shows that women who get less than 5 hours of sleep each night are almost 50 percent more likely to get some form of heart disease than women who snooze for at least 8 hours. Why? Too little sleep raises blood pressure and can put an irregular "tick" in your ticker.
And finally: Getting enough 'Zs' lengthens your life. Your body repairs itself while you sleep. It's 'behind the scenes' action and you don't know it's going on, but it's important. According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, people over age 60 who had poor sleep habits were TWICE as likely to die before age 75 than those who got enough sleep. Nap time, anyone?