You’re eating a healthy diet (most of the time). You’re exercising (some of the time). But are you sleeping well?

The “Sleep Well, Be Well” campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project is a reminder that sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

“Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury,” said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Safwan Badr. “You must sleep well to be well.”

The Healthy Sleep project involves a partnership between the AASM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sleep Research Society, and others. The objective: to improve public health by promoting healthy sleep.

Why is healthy sleep important? It promotes physical health and mental well-being. It also boosts performance and reduces safety risks.

Yet millions of Americans are failing to get the sleep that their body needs. Adults typically need about seven to nine hours of regular sleep. But the CDC reports that 28 percent of adults get six hours or less of daily sleep.

For most adults, six hours of sleep is not enough. Over time, ongoing sleep loss can have a dramatic impact on your health. Poor sleep is linked to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

“Poor sleep has a cumulative impact on nearly every key indicator of public health,” said Janet B. Croft, PhD, of the CDC.

Millions of Americans also have an untreated sleep disorder that prevents them from sleeping well. They may spend eight hours in bed but never get quality sleep. Chronic insomnia. Loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Restless legs syndrome. There are a host of sleep problems that can disrupt your sleep.

“It’s important to understand that both the quality and quantity of sleep impact your health,” said SRS President Janet Mullington, PhD.

What can you do to sleep well and be well? Learn the healthy sleep basics. Then make healthy sleep one of your top priorities.

Be sure that you never ignore an ongoing sleep problem. You don’t have to go through life feeling tired, exhausted and frustrated. Help is available. Talk to your doctor. Ask about setting up an appointment with a sleep specialist at an accredited sleep center.

Remember: Sleep is not optional. Your body needs sleep, and your health depends on it. “Sleep Well, Be Well”: It’s the motto for a healthier lifestyle.