(BPT) - We have all been taught about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. But do you know why? Healthy sleep doesn’t just help us feel rested and fully charged during the day, although it's the first thing we notice. Sleep is a natural process that is affected by our body clocks (or circadian rhythm) and helps us do everything from restore our bodies, consolidate memory, and clear out toxins in our brain to help improve other health conditions. When we think about these health benefits, one of the most powerful is the connection between our sleep and an area of growing public concern: our mental health.

As part of its commitment to helping educate the public about the importance of sleep and its effect on overall health and well-being, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) set out to understand even more about the link between our sleep health and mental health, with a focus on depressive symptoms among American adults.

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