The joy of a good night's sleep just can't be overstated. Somewhere around my 50th birthday, I lost the ability to get one. I went from being someone who could shut her eyes and not open them for eight hours to a person who now does a victory lap around the bed if I manage four hours in a single stretch.
There is substantial evidence that sleep deprivation is associated with increased risk for diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses. Considering that chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., we should stop treating sleep as a sacrificial luxury and instead insist on it as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.