Changing Your Life: Getting More Sleep Can Improve Your Health

And calling it an earlier night may show some benefits. In a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, heart attacks in Sweden rose by 5 percent in that first week of spring, when many people were adjusting to losing an hour of sleep. In the fall when the clocks are reset, heart attacks dropped, according to the study.

"Most of these findings are so recent that the average physician is unaware of the link between chronic sleep deprivation and cardiovascular disease," said Czeisler.

After learning more about her own pre-bed habits and changing some behaviors, Roberts is now on the right track with her sleep. She's in bed by 9:30 p.m.and clocks in at least six hours of sleep-- not ideal, but a major improvement for Roberts. Many know that it is not easy to get that extra hour, but as Roberts learned, never has it been so clear that its worth trying.

"I feel more alive, I have more energy, I can get my job done," she said. "I'm not sitting at my desk falling asleep." For more information on healthy sleep habits visit UnderstandingSleep.org

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