7 Surprising Reasons to Get 7 (or More) Hours of Sleep

Hit the sack to lose weight, boost your sex drive, get fewer colds and more
Enough sleep lessens your sensitivity to pain Photo: Rido/Shutterstock
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
More sleep means better weight control
More sleep is good for your sex life
More sleep, less risk of type 2 diabetes
More sleep=better judgment, fewer car accidents
Enough sleep helps prevent heart disease
Sleep boosts your immune system's disease fighters
Enough sleep lessens your sensitivity to pain
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Less pain

Do you have back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia or just everyday aches? Catching more zzz’s could help you hurt less. In a small study published in 2015, researchers let volunteers sleep for only two hours one night and found that lack of sleep made them more sensitive to pain. After just one night of recovery, some were allowed to nap the next day — and their pain thresholds increased again. In another study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, researchers reported that non-restorative sleep is the strongest predictor of widespread pain in adults over 50.

Pain and lack of sleep are a vicious cycle. If pain makes it hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, see your doctor. Medications and lifestyle strategies can help.