“Live long and prosper.” That was the Vulcan’s farewell words on Star Trek. But you don’t need pointy ears to take advantage of that advice.

What you do need is sleep. If you don’t get enough, you will tend to have higher blood pressure. High BP can lead to heart problems and your overall health could decline. Doctors at the University of Chicago even found that the flu shot worked better for people who get enough sleep.

* Want to look good? Encourage your growth hormone by getting enough sleep. That’s the number one way to do it. Growth hormone brings better-looking skin and more muscle mass.

* Reduce stress to increase good feelings. Half of adults surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation said they have insomnia a few nights a week. Do what you can to solve this problem. It can make you feel stressed, depressed, forgetful and less able to concentrate.

* Have a healthier weight. Michael Beus, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, says sleep loss leads to a lower level of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, and increases ghrelin, the hormone that make you feel hungry.

Not everyone needs a full eight hours of sleep, but some people need a little more. A Washington State University study suggests the need may be determined by genetics.

Get what you need to feel bright and properly rested each day.