We get more from sleep than feeling rested and alert during the day. Sleep affects our metabolism, memory, and can influence the aging process and a variety of other biological processes. Young adulthood is a phase of life that is often packed with activities that may conflict with getting adequate sleep.
In this recent study, teens who had trouble falling or staying asleep on a regular basis were almost two and half times as likely to report sub-optimal (less than excellent) health compared to peers who did not have these sleep difficulties. There were two other notable findings. One was that the quantity of sleep was less important than the quality of sleep because those who slept less than eight hours did not have any clear adverse health effects. Second, the impact of chronic, poor-quality sleep on health was stronger among boys than girls.