Staying Sharp: Sleeping Your Way to the Top

Staying up late to get ahead? It might be more productive to get a good night's rest

Americans are not renowned for their powers of self-deprivation; doing without is not something we do particularly well. But experts say there is one necessity of life most of us consistently fail to get: a good night's sleep.

The recommended daily requirements should sound familiar: eight hours of sleep a night for adults and at least an hour more for adolescents. Yet 71% of American adults and 85% of teens do not get the suggested amount, to the detriment of body and mind. "Sleep is sort of like food," says Robert Stickgold, a cognitive neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. But, he...

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