For years I prioritized getting enough sleep. Then a few months ago, I became a parent. Now I’m intimately more familiar with sleep deprivation, and the immediate effects: I’m having difficulty finding words, my conversational skills are plummeting, and my concentration isn’t what it was before. I wanted to know how much it was impacting my long-term health, so I looked into it, and sleep is even more important than I imagined.
Though it may appear that we're not doing much, while we sleep our bodies are carrying out a lot of maintenance to keep us healthy. When we don't get enough (high quality) sleep, our bodies don't perform at their best.