World Sleep Day is celebrated every year on the 15th of March. 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”
  • “Sleep Is Essential for Health.”

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Cognitive function: Sleep is important for memory consolidation, learning, and problem-solving. It also helps improve attention, concentration, and decision-making abilities.
  3. Emotional regulation: Sleep plays a key role in regulating emotions and mood. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased anxiety, depression, and irritability.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

How can organisations get involved?

Organisations play a crucial role in promoting the well-being of their employees, including the vital aspect of sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene leads to improved mental and physical health, increased productivity, and overall better quality of life. Here are several strategies organisations can employ to promote better sleep hygiene awareness and support their employees in achieving a good night’s sleep:

1. Flexible Working Hours

Offer flexible working schedules that allow employees to work during their peak productivity times and support their natural sleep cycles. Understanding that not everyone is suited to the traditional 9-5 schedule can help employees manage their work and rest periods more effectively.

2. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Encourage employees to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life to reduce stress and prevent burnout. This can include setting clear boundaries on work hours, encouraging time off, and promoting activities that help employees unwind and disconnect from work.

3. Implement a “No Email” Policy After Hours

Discourage the culture of sending emails outside of work hours by implementing policies that limit after-hours communication. This helps employees disconnect from work-related stress and prepares them for a restful evening.

4. Wellness Programs that Include Sleep Hygiene

Incorporate sleep hygiene into existing wellness programs by offering activities such as yoga, meditation sessions, or mindfulness training that can help improve sleep. Partnering with sleep tracking app services to offer subscriptions to employees can also provide them with insights into their sleep patterns and quality.

5. Lead by Example

Senior management should model good sleep hygiene and work-life balance practices. Leadership plays a pivotal role in setting the cultural tone of an organisation, and by prioritising their own well-being, leaders can encourage their teams to do the same.

Find out more & get involved

1. The Sleep Charity: Offers a wealth of resources on sleep health, including workplace workshops aimed at improving sleep hygiene. They have guidance and practical tips to help individuals get better sleep.


2. Sleep Council: Provides advice on all aspects of sleep, including research on how sleep affects well-being and performance. The Sleep Council also offers tips on creating the perfect sleep environment and choosing the right bed.


3. British Sleep Society: An organisation for medical, scientific, and healthcare workers dealing with sleep disorders. They offer resources and information that can be useful for organisations looking to understand sleep better and promote sleep health.


Workplace Wellbeing Professional & Sleep

Here at Workplace Wellbeing Professional, we recognise the importance of quality sleep. Quality sleep helps us to refresh, reset and take more pleasure in our daily lives. Take a look at some of our news and analysis pieces surrounding the topic of sleep below (with much more to be found under ‘sleep’ in the Topic Index:

* Poor sleep costing the UK 40 billion annually! 

* Sleep experts share tips for sleeping off the winter blues

* Leeson Medhurst: Rest in the workplace – the key to enhancing employee benefits package

* Anna McKay: Good sleep helps female employees navigate menopause symptoms 

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Workplace Wellbeing Professional is an online magazine featuring news and analysis on a broad range of employee wellbeing topics, focused on a UK based audience.