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The benefits of an extra hour sleep and vitamin D

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Thinking about New Year's resolutions for 2009? Why not vow to get more sleep? Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center have found even one extra hour of sleep each night appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery calcification, which is associated with heart disease. Out of 495 study participants, 27 percent of those who had calcified arteries slept less than five hours a night. That number dropped to 11 percent for those who slept five to seven hours and just six percent for participants who got even more shut-eye. Researchers say they don't know why there was such a difference. They say more studies are needed. And if you're thinking about getting pregnant, you may want to ask your doctor about vitamin D. Research out of Boston University found pregnant women who didn't get enough vitamin D had an increased risk of a c-section delivery, compared to women who were not vitamin D deficient. For two years, doctors looked at the relationship between c-sections and nutrition and found mothers-to-be who had low levels of vitamin D in their bodies, had four times the odds of having a c-section. Researchers believe vitamin D helps women strengthen their muscles, which can make natural child birth much easier.

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