Getting too little sleep can have a direct impact on cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune functioning that may increase disease risk over time, reports Reuters.

“In many countries, particularly western countries, sleep takes a back seat to productivity, which may make some sense in the short term but certainly not the longer term,” said coauthor Aric A. Prather of the Center for Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco. “Sleep happens with whatever time is left after all of the other ‘necessary’ tasks are attended to.”