Getting enough sleep is vital for our health and well being.

National Geographic:

The waking brain is optimized for collecting external stimuli, the sleeping brain for consolidating the information that’s been collected. At night, that is, we switch from recording to editing, a change that can be measured on the molecular scale. We’re not just rotely filing our thoughts—the sleeping brain actively curates which memories to keep and which to toss.

It doesn’t necessarily choose wisely. Sleep reinforces our memory so powerfully—not just in stage 2, where we spend about half our sleeping time, but throughout the looping voyage of the night—that it might be best, for example, if exhausted soldiers returning from harrowing missions did not go directly to bed. To forestall post-traumatic stress disorder, the soldiers should remain awake for six to eight hours, according to neuroscientist Gina Poe at the University of California, Los Angeles. Research by her and others suggests that sleeping soon after a major event, before some of the ordeal is mentally resolved, is more likely to turn the experience into long-term memories.

And

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 million American adults are chronically sleep deprived, meaning they sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours a night. Fatigue contributes to more than a million auto accidents each year, as well as to a significant number of medical errors. Even small adjustments in sleep can be problematic. The Monday after a daylight saving time change in the U.S., there’s a 24 percent increase in heart attacks, compared with other Mondays, and a jump in fatal car crashes too.

During our lifetimes, about a third of us will suffer from at least one diagnosable sleep disorder. They range from chronic insomnia to sleep apnea to restless leg syndrome to much rarer and stranger conditions.