Sleep crucial for long, healthy life

London: Nothing leaves you more refreshed and full of energy than a good night`s sleep. But now, it has been proved that sleep is crucial for a long and healthy life.

There has been mounting evidence from recent studies that getting the right amount of rest can do much more than perk you up in the morning.

Without sleep, the body is more likely to fall victim to everything from cold and sniffles to potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia, reports

In a latest study, a team of British and Italian researchers found out that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night could lead to an early grave.

Those sleeping less than six hours were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those sleeping between six and eight hours a night.

Most experts believe that between six and eight hours is the right amount for an adult. Teenagers need about nine hours a night and young babies up to 16 hours a day.

Lying in bed for more than eight or nine hours every night is also now considered a "marker" for ill health. It could signal depression or an undiagnosed medical condition such as diabetes.