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6 surprising benefits of sleep

Still slacking on sleep? Find out what a couple more hours could do for your body.

By Kelly Gonsalves for

PreventionWake up! You cannot justify sleeping less than seven hours a night. Dowsing yourself in coffee every morning may get you through the day, but habitually cutting corners on your sleep means you’re not only blunting health benefits but cutting years off your life.

“There’s more consequences to insufficient sleep than just feeling groggy the next day, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. They’re like, ‘Well, if I can power through the day, then it was enough,’” says Michael Grandner, PhD, a clinical psychologist and instructor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. “But there’s a lot more going on.”  Here’s what:

1. Sleep fights weight gain.

If nothing else will motivate you to get more shuteye, this should be it: Sleep keeps the weight off—not just for vanity but also for health.

Lack of sleep can lead to more of both midnight and midday munching. It turns out that sleep deprivation triggers higher levels of a hunger-inducing molecule that increased appetite during the afternoon, according to research presented at The Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting this year.

Keep reading for five more reasons you need to sleep…

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