World Sleep Day is celebrated every year on varying dates in March and this year, it falls on March 17. Observation found that the date ranges from March 10 to March 20. Although the date varies each year, the day it is celebrated always remains the same. The holiday falls on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox. The holiday is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Day Society. The day was created to emphasize the importance of sleep and address common sleep-related issues that many people suffer from.
History of World Sleep Day
Sleep is a natural state of relaxation. It helps the mind and body regenerate and replenish themselves by suppressing muscle movement and other unused body senses. There are several phases of sleep, each with a distinct role. The disruption of any one of these phases can lead to body and/or mental ailments that affect every part of life.
The fact that sleep plays such an influential role on the mind and body brings us to the conclusion that sleep is vital thus, organizations such as the World Sleep Day Society made it their duty to create this holiday to promote the importance of sleep.
Although everyone experiences sleep, each person has a different perception of what happens when we sleep. According to some experts, sleep is a state of temporary coma that allows the body to be both conscious and unconscious.
Many people suffer from sleep-related issues that do not allow them to reach this regenerative coma-like state hindering their abilities. The World Sleep Society, which was formed in 2008, introduced World Sleep Day in collaboration with the World Association of Sleep Medicine (W.A.S.M.)
Since its inception, the goal and purpose of the day have been to spread awareness of the need to get sufficient sleep to stay healthy and bring international and local bodies together to work on sleep-related issues.
Every year, the day has been celebrated with a unique theme to support the cause. The day also educates people about different sleep disorders/solutions and encourages them to seek help.
World Sleep Day timeline
The first sleep lab to research sleep is opened by Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman, popularly known as the founder of sleep research.
Librium, the first sleeping pill is commercialized.
We celebrate the first ever World Sleep Day on March 14, 2008.
This theme explains the vital role sleep plays in our lives and expands on the long-term benefits sleep can have on our health and well-being.
World Sleep Day FAQs
How much should a person sleep to stay healthy and alert?
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that around seven to nine hours of continuous sleep are necessary to maintain good health and alertness during the day.
What are some of the signs of sleep deprivation?
Red eyes, constant yawning, dozing off, poor concentration, and mood swings are some of the most evident signs of sleep deprivation.
How can I sleep better at night?
The best practice is to reduce light at night, especially two hours before going to sleep. Doctors recommend drinking chamomile tea which even helps people with mild insomnia. Do not consume caffeine at night, and put your laptops and mobile phones away for at least an hour before going to sleep.
How to Observe World Sleep Day
Get proper sleep tonight
Use this day as an excuse to sleep properly and have a sufficient amount of sleep. Your body will thank you.
Spread awareness in your social circle
If you know of a person who suffers from sleep disorders, ask him to go to a doctor and seek help. Talk about such disorders with others to spread awareness.
Remind others to sleep properly and put their phones away
Since you will be sleeping properly tonight, encourage others to put their phones away at night early so that they get sufficient sleep too. Discuss the freshness in the morning after.
5 Facts About Sleep Everyone Should Know
Knowledge gained in the last 25 years
Although scientists have been researching sleep and its related disorders for over a century now, most of what they have learned about the topic was only discovered in the last 25 years.
One-third of life spent sleeping
One-third of a human’s life is spent sleeping.
The inability to wake up naturally from a sleeping state is a condition called Dysania.
The unnatural movements of the body during sleep are known as parasomnia.
Sleep deprivation is deadly
The body can live without food for eight to 21 days however, it can only survive for seven to 11 days without sleep.
Why World Sleep Day is Important
The need to spread awareness
We have to spread awareness about the dangers of sleep insufficiency and its profound effect on different aspects of life. See what you can do on this day to contribute.
Sleep disorders affect more than 50% of people
Every second person suffers from minor to mild sleep disorders, out of which 10 to 15% of people develop chronic disorders. This day aims to bring together health experts and people from the scientific community to build awareness and treatment options for those suffering from sleeping disorders.
It’s a dedicated day to sleep with an excuse
You finally have an excuse to sleep! Celebrate this holiday by getting some much-needed shut-eye. No one can fault you for sleeping in on this day.
World Sleep Day dates