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.
Advertisement - story continues below