OK, it’s been a while–vacation–but I’m back, so here goes. Research shows that people who do not get adequate sleep are twice as likely to die of heart disease. A 17-year British study looked at 10,000 government workers. Those who cut their sleep from seven hours a night to five or less had two times as much chance of dying of any cause, but especially from heart disease. Although the reasons for this are as of yet unknown, researchers believe it has to do with increased blood pressure, leading to heart attack and stroke, in those consistently robbing the sandman.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, sleep is absolutely essential to maintaining good health. The importance of this study is that in today’s high paced, produce or crumble culture, more and more people are depriving themselves of sleep–and now we know it can kill you.

Hey, I’m the first one to admit that forcing oneself to rest is tough. I know–I run a business, I have a family, I blog!–sometimes, sleep has got to take the back burner. But consistently missing sleep will catch up with you sooner or later. It increases your risk of catching colds or flu. It increases your chances of injuring yourself or having an accident. And it disrupts your mental function and mental capacity significantly. So do yourself a favor: shut off the T.V., say goodnight to your friends, and go to bed–it’ll save you a few years of life. Now you know.

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