KANEOHE, Hawaii - Sleep - we spend roughly a third of our lives doing it, yet we often don’t give it much thought.

Time to start. The 50th state in 50th place in terms of getting our zzzzs. 

A recent study reported only 56 percent of adults in Hawaii got seven or more hours of sleep each night. There's a number of reasons Hawaii ranks last, from long commutes to the multiple jobs needed to keep ones head above water in paradise. 

Whatever the reason, that lack of shut eye comes at a huge cost.

"Diabetes, chronic obesiety, heart diesease, hyper tension," Dr. Jamil Sulieman, Sleep Lab Kaneohe said. 

Sulieman has been a sleep guru for over 30 years. He says the list of negative effects from lack of sleep goes on and on. Seven and a half to eight hours should be the goal every night.

But when you sleep, can be as important as how much you sleep.

"I have never met anyone who works the night shift that got adequate sleep in the daytime... People that sleep in the daytime are going against their normal cardian rythem, their normal cardian clock," Sulieman said. 

That’s right, it’s a virtual mission impossible to get quality sleep when you work the overnight shift.

But whether you sleep night or day, you can improve your sleep. You only need to focus on three things to get the best sleep of your life.

"Set a regular time to go to bed. The second is the environment: cool, dark and quiet," Sulieman said. 

A TV is a no no, the light spectrum it emits will signal your brain that it's day not night. 

If you must use computers or electronic devices, turn on the night time mode or download a program like Flux, which will automatically soften the colors. If you're one of those shift workers, black out shades for the windows, eye masks and ear plugs can help.

The third tip is to avoid stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes. 

Watch what you drink, too. Drinking liquid right before bed can cause a bathroom break to interrupt your sleep. That night cap?

"Drinking alcohol helps you go to sleep but the metabolism of alcohol causes the early morning wakeups," Sulieman said. 

Do all of that and still wake up tired? Seek help. If you think you might have a serious issue, see a doctor. They might have you spend an overnight session at a sleep center like Sleep Lab Kaneohe. 

An overnight stay can help diagnose a potentially life threatening problem such as sleep apnea, a disorder that affects men twice as much as woman and many don’t know they have it. 

"Men with sleep apnea don't think they don't sleep, they're tired but wouldn't tell you they didn't sleep," Sulieman said.

Lack of quality sleep could literally kill you, while good sleep can ward off illness and disease, help you stay fit and be alert to tackle all those work and life challenges.