Sleep plays an important role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your physical and mental health, quality of life, and safety. Your ability to perform decision-making skills, alertness, and moods whether at work, at home, or at play are defined while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur instantly, such as a car accident, or it can harm you over time. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. Understanding how lack of sleep affects your health can allow you to make healthier decisions.