Stay In Bed Longer: +2 Years
It's a paradox. We all like sleep. We all complain about not getting enough sleep. But then we never seem to get enough sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2009 "Sleep in America" poll, the number of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night jumped from 13 percent to 20 percent over the past eight years. And those who reported sleeping eight hours or more a night dropped from 38 percent to 28 percent.
The poll pegged the average nightly amount of sleep for Americans at six hours, 40 minutes on weekdays/workdays, while most people need an average of seven to eight hours.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated because it allows the neurons in the brain to become less active and undergo repair. Without repair these nerve cells are unable to function properly with the result that people find that they have trouble with memory and concentration.
Sticking to a regular bedtime is one key to getting a good night's sleep, along with exercising regularly and avoiding foods and drinks high in caffeine for at least eight hours prior to bedtime.
The foundation's tips also recommend using your bedroom for only sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. Removing work materials, computers and televisions from the sleep environment will go a long way toward accomplishing this.
Have More Sex: +3 to 8 Years
A few extra winks under the covers isn't the only bedroom activity you can partake in to extend your life. Sex is another key to living a longer and healthier life.
The years you can add to your lifespan by spending more time in the bedroom -- or wherever else you want, we're not the kind to judge -- comes from a combination of several factors.
The British Medical Journal says that regular sexual activity, meaning two to three times a week, can cut your chance of heart disease and stroke in half. Regular sex can also provide a two- to three-year gain by lowering your blood pressure, improving your sleep and boosting your immunity. The fact that it can burn 200 calories doesn't hurt either.
And if said sex comes as part of a happy marriage, census research shows you'll get another five years added onto your tab.
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