Sleep may be the cousin of death, but according to The New York Times, it has now turned into a status symbol. Forget money, the more sleep you enjoy, the wealthier — in more ways than one — you appear.

For years, multiple studies have shown how bad sleep not only weakens the immune system, but impairs learning and memory, contributes to depression and other mood and mental disorders, as well as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and an early death. When you put it into perspective, it's quite easy to see just how valuable sleep truly is.

More recently, a number of projects surrounding sleep, from designing headbands to induce sleep, to direct current stimulation as a cure for sleeplessness, are more thoroughly looking into how much we do and don't need, in addition to ways it has become a status symbol.

The New York Times has in turn dug deeper into the topic, providing insight from respected professionals, which you yourself can subsequently delve into via their website. Read, take notes, and then come back when you've gotten a solid night's rest and let us know what you think.

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