Are you killing your own kidneys?

There's a lot to do this time of year: dinners to plan, parties to attend, and presents to buy.

It's easy to end up burning the candle at both ends, waking up earlier and falling asleep later to get everything done.

By the time the January 1 rolls around, you're not ready to start a new year.

You're ready to take a long nap!

I know it's tough to find a little downtime this month... and even tougher to get the rest your body truly needs.

But make an effort to get it, because poor sleep can leave you with more than red eyes and a cranky attitude.

It can be absolutely devastating to your kidneys!

If you're among the 26 million Americans battling kidney disease, lost sleep can cause the organs to wear out faster, sending you on the way to kidney failure and even death YEARS ahead of schedule.

And it's all because you missed out on some shuteye!

When you get the rest you need, your body has a chance to rejuvenate. It's as if you have a night crew at work, making repairs and sweeping out bad cells.

Your kidneys seem to take advantage of this "maintenance time" more than any other part of your body -- because the study finds every extra hour of rest you get per night cuts the risk of kidney failure by 19 percent.

Miss out, on the other hand, and you not only have a higher risk of kidney failure.

The study finds you have a higher risk of an early death, too, as folks who reported daytime sleepiness were 10 percent more likely to die during the five-year study.

If you don't have kidney disease, don't make plans to stay up all night.

You might not be out of the woods yet, since most folks who have this disease don't know it!

You could even be one of them. The early symptoms aren't always obvious, especially in older folks, who are often battling a number of other health conditions.

Kidney problems sometimes get lost in the shuffle -- but don't let it, because even a little drop in kidney function can turn BIG in a hurry.

Get a little more sleep, and you might be able to avoid the worst of it.