World Sleep Day 2021
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What is World Sleep Day?
Sleep issues have become a global epidemic. This is because sleep deprivation can result in a variety of health and societal issues ranging from mild to severe.
World Sleep Day is an annual event to raise awareness for the benefits of sleep as well as the health issues sleep disorders can cause. This year’s event will take place on Friday, 19 March 2021.
World Sleep Day serves numerous purposes. The first is simply to celebrate sleep and all the health benefits proper sleep offers our bodies. Another goal of World Sleep Day is to discuss sleep disorders, the harms they can cause, and how they can possibly be prevented.
This event is always held on the Friday preceding the Spring Vernal Equinox. The date changes every year but World Sleep Day always takes place on a Friday. More than 88 countries around the globe have taken part in World Sleep Day events and activities.
Who Founded World Sleep Day?
World Sleep Day was founded in 2008 by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society.
Does World Sleep Day Have a Theme?
This year’s theme for World Sleep Day is, “Regular Sleep, Healthy Future.” The event will focus on the benefits of regular sleep and achieving superior sleep quality. Another goal of 2021 World Sleep Day is to raise awareness for the individual and societal harms sleep deprivation can cause.
What is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a term used to describe sleeping less than the recommended seven to nine hours (for adults) each night. Sleep deprivation can be characterized as acute or chronic. Acute sleep deprivation is usually short-term (lasting a few days), while chronic sleep deprivation is used to describe insufficient for three months or more.
Harms of Sleep Deprivation
Research has shown that operating without enough sleep can result in short-term issues, including a lack of alertness, impaired memory, increased relationship stress, and a decreased quality of life.
Chronic sleep deprivation is typically more serious and can result in more severe health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and more. Chronic sleep deprivation may also result in obesity and mental health disorders, such as psychosis, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that those who suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to have a lower quality of life and a higher risk of death.
Sleep deprivation can also harm individuals apart from those who are sleep-deprived. Thousands of car, bus, plane, and train crashes occur each year due to drowsy driving. Accidents are also more likely to occur at work when an individual is overly tired.
10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene for Adults
The World Sleep Society has created 10 commandments of sleep hygiene for adults.
- Establish a regular bedtime and waking time
- If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime, and do not smoke
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed
- Use comfortable, inviting bedding
- Find a comfortable sleep temperature setting and keep the room well ventilated
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible
- Reserve your bed for sleep and sex, avoiding its use for work or general recreation
10 Tips for Better Sleep in Children
The Society recommends the following amount of sleep for children:
- 3-12 months – 14 to15 hours
- 1-3 years – 12 to14 hours
- 3-5 years – 11 to 13 hours
- 6-12 years – 10 to 11 hours
- 12-18 years – 8.5 to 9.5 hours
And has the following top 10 tips as well:
- Have your child go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 9:00PM
- Your child should have an age-appropriate nap schedule
- Establish a consistent, positive bedtime routine (this can include brushing teeth, songs, bedtime stories)
- The bedroom should be sleep-conducive friendly – cool, dark, and quiet
- Encourage your child to fall asleep independently
- Your child should avoid bright light at bedtime and during the night, and increase light exposure in the morning
- Have your child avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise close to bedtime
- Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the child’s bedroom and limit the use of electronics before bedtime
- Your child should avoid caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and teas (as well as ice tea), and chocolate
- Have your child keep a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes
How to Take Part
The World Sleep Society offers several examples of how you can take part in World Sleep Day 2021:
- Share posts on social media with the hashtag #WorldSleepDay
- Organize an event to create awareness for World Sleep Day and the importance of sleep
- Share the official World Sleep Day press release
- Distribute newsletter, leaflets, and other advertisements displaying the importance of sleep and harms of sleep deprivation
The World Sleep Society suggests the most important way to take part in World Sleep Day is to improve your sleeping habits and those of the ones you love.