NPR raises awareness as to the symptoms and the consequences of untreated sleep disorders.

“Within 2 1/2 weeks we can take someone who is young, healthy and fit and put them in a pre-diabetic state just by putting them on an irregular schedule,” Czeisler says.

Research also has shown a strong connection between sleep and the immune system, Czeisler says. “People who are not getting sleep, if they’re exposed to a virus like the adenovirus — that causes the common cold — they will have a 200 to 300 percent increased risk of actually catching a cold,” he says.