This March 14 through the 20 it’s time to snuggle up and catch some Zs because it’s sleep awareness week and you deserve some rest! Admit it, it’s likely you don’t let yourself get enough sleep. It’s not your fault, life is demanding. That’s why this March you owe it to yourself to get those extra hours you so desperately need. This annual event, created by the National Sleep Foundation, seeks to promote better sleep as a way to increase overall health and well-being.
History of Sleep Awareness Week
It’s a well-known fact that your sleep schedule is directly related to your overall health, that includes mentally and physically. Started in 2008, this annual event begins at the start of Daylight Saving Time when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. The change to Daylight Saving Time reminds us to make beneficial changes in our sleep routines to improve our sleep health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. The goal is to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep and to draw attention to the burden of sleep problems and to promote the prevention and management of sleep disorders.
Sleep loss is a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness has the ability to slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.
Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents. They also had more sick days per accident. It also plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, problem-solving, and makes it more difficult to learn.
Lastly, sleep deprivation has a serious negative effect on your chances of cardiovascular health, putting you at risk for a number of life-threatening conditions. So, for your own safety and the safety of others, make sure you allow yourself the time to rest, and if you can, no better time than the present!
Sleep Awareness Week timeline
The musical tune for the song “Yesterday” came to Sir Paul McCartney in a dream which got stuck in his head when he woke up.
The famous barber-shop song Mr. Sandman made its debut and quickly became a smash hit.
Berliner Heinrich Westphal invented the innerspring mattress, the first modern mattress type that replaced those stuffed with hay, wool, down, and other materials.
Celebrated author Mary Shelley came up with the concept for Frankenstein in a dream after a night of telling ghost stories with Lord Byron.
The industrial revolution no longer allowed for laborers to sleep during the day, forcing Americans to adjust/compress their sleep schedules to one long rest rather than 2 short sessions of shuteye.
Sleep Awareness Week FAQs
When is Sleep Awareness Week?
This annual event begins at the start of Daylight Saving Time when most Americans lose an hour of sleep.
What is a sleep episode?
A sleep episode is a moment of sleep that is either voluntary or involuntary. In sleep laboratories, a sleep episode begins at the moment of “lights out” and ends at the moment of “lights on.”
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Getting adequate rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration.
Sleep Awareness Week Activities
Spread the word
Participate in sleep awareness week and spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag #SleepAwarenessWeek.
Get some rest
Put aside some time to treat yourself to some much deserved shuteye. If you’re one of the many who have difficulty getting to sleep, maybe set aside extra time to workout, meditate or other ways to help catch yourself some Zs.
Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits
There are many ways you can get yourself sleeping better, from regularly changing your sheets, to preparing for bed sooner, to eating earlier. Give yourself a new goal to improve your sleep health and enjoy all the amazing benefits of being clear-minded and well-rested.
5 SLEEPING FACTS
Sleep it off
62% of Americans try to “shake it off” and do nothing about their sleepiness.
The colors of dreams
12% of people dream entirely in black and white.
The sensation of falling when half asleep and jerking yourself awake is called hypnic jerks.
Sleep experts have found a direct link between people’s favorite sleeping positions and their personalities.
Sleeping on your front can aid digestion.
Why We Love Sleep Awareness Week
It keeps your heart healthy
Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
It reduces stress
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones.
It helps you lose weight
The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don't forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is a huge part of the equation.
Sleep Awareness Week dates