World Sleep Day is approaching on the 17th of March 2023. The purpose of World Sleep Day is to raise awareness about the importance of good sleep and to advocate for better sleep health.
The event was first organised in 2008 by the World Sleep Society, which is an international organisation that focuses on sleep medicine and research. Each year, the campaign has a specific theme, which is designed to highlight a particular aspect of sleep health.
Some of the past themes for the annual campaign have included:
- “Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet”
- “Sound Sleep, Sound Health”
- “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life”
- “Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life”
This years theme is Sleep Is Essential for Health. This is because just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behaviour that is foundational to one’s physical, mental, and social well-being.
The event typically includes educational campaigns, public events, and social media campaigns that aim to raise awareness about the importance of good sleep and the impact of sleep disorders on health and well-being.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. It plays a critical role in maintaining many bodily functions and processes, including:
- Physical restoration: Sleep helps repair and restore the body’s tissues, muscles, and cells. It also helps boost the immune system, which helps fight off infections and diseases.
- Cognitive function: Sleep is important for memory consolidation, learning, and problem-solving. It also helps improve attention, concentration, and decision-making abilities.
- Emotional regulation: Sleep plays a key role in regulating emotions and mood. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased anxiety, depression, and irritability.
- Hormone regulation: Sleep helps regulate the body’s hormones, including those that control appetite, metabolism, and stress. Chronic sleep deprivation can disrupt these hormonal processes, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems.
- Cardiovascular health: Sleep is important for maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
Getting enough high-quality sleep is essential for maintaining good health, both physically and mentally. Experts recommend that adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while children and teenagers may need more.