Going to bed early has never been one of my strengths. In fact, until fairly recently, I have always gone to bed late and (unless enticed) always thought that there was something more interesting to do than be in bad.
I have now finally discovered the wonderful benefits of sleeping well and sleeping for a long time. We aim to hit the sack at 10:00 each night although it is usually 10:30 by lights out so that we can try to get about 8 hours per night. We have also put up blackout blinds to get the room as dark as possible.
I have noticed that I am a lot better in the mornings now, I feel much less irritable and I don't crash after lunch feeling sleepy through the afternoon as I did for many years. Part of that is certainly related to my diet, but I am also sure that getting enough sleep helps to ward off tiredness. I would certainly never want to be the sort of person who falls asleep at the dinner table (for many reasons)
A great deal of statistical information appears to link insufficient sleep with all sorts of health problems from high cholesterol to weight gain and type 2 diabetes. How much of that is true is hard for me to say, but the average amount of sleep that people get has gradually been declining as average body weights have been increasing.