It is one of our most basic functions, as important as the in and out of our  breath. Our need for sleep is primal, yet the pace of life means it’s often  pushed to the periphery, sacrificed at the altar of work, friends, study and  fun.

But now science is beginning to show that getting the right amount of sleep  might be the key to making the rest of our lives run more smoothly.

Increasingly, research is indicating that the quality and quantity of our  sleep affects every part of our lives, from success in work and school to our  likelihood of developing problems such as obesity or mental illness.

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