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Washington Post Features

February 5, 2013

Simple things you can do to live longer

Living a long life is what many people want, but they also want to live it healthfully, so in order to do that some people follow a long list of regimens and medical suggestions that oftentimes entail a major life change or some sort of difficult upheaval.   

But not everything you need to do in order to live longer requires a drastic change.

You don’t always have to search for the newest vitamin supplement or switch your daily routine to include a new workout to live longer, because there are many things you can do that require either no change or very little of it, say experts, and getting just a little bit more sleep is one of those things.

Enough sleep

Researchers at Pennsylvania University College of Medicine say that getting eight hours of sleep is a must for proper health and has a direct impact on living longer. This was discovered after scientists observed two groups of participants. One group slept for six hours or more most nights and the other group slept for less than six hours.

Researchers first followed up with the women of both groups after a 10-year period and then with the men after 14 years, and it was discovered that the women who got more hours of sleep or didn’t have issues with insomnia had a lower mortality rate.

And men who battled chronic insomnia or slept for under eight hours for a number of years had a significant risk of dying earlier compared to those who got the correct amount of sleep.

In a separate study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 40 million working Americans get less than six hours of sleep, which is 30 percent of the workforce, which suggests that many of us may be robbing ourselves of days here on earth, simply by not getting to bed early enough.

Stand more, sit less

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