This year, we are celebrating World Sleep Day on March 15, 2019. It is the 12th annual world sleep day. This day is created and hosted by World Sleep Society, it is an internationally recognized awareness event which brings health professionals, researchers, and patients all together to understand the importance of sleep and its impact on our health. World Sleep Society is providing a global call to action about the importance of healthy sleep.
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This year 2019, World Sleep Day will incorporate the slogan, ‘Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging’ to emphasize the importance of sleep in health at any age. This focus has purposefully spread the message that quality of life can be improved with healthy sleep. Contrary, when sleep fails, health declines and quality of life decreases. Sound sleep is a function of the body and one of the main pillars of health.
Who Created World Sleep Day?
The annual World Sleep Day was started by a group of dedicated healthcare providers and members of the medical community who are working and studying in the area of sleep medicine and research. The aim of the first World Sleep Day was to bring together all the sleep healthcare providers to distribute and discuss sleep information around the world.
Why sleep is Important?
Sleep plays an important role in your overall health, quality life and wellbeing throughout your life. Getting enough sound sleep has many benefits like it protects your physical and mental health, quality of life as well as personal safety.
Key Points of Sound Sleep:
- When you sleep, important mental and physical processes are carried out.
- Sound sleep is important for emotional wellbeing, brain functioning, physical health, and daytime performance.
- According to research, adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep each night.
- Not getting enough sleep is common and can have serious impacts on your physical and mental health.
- To restore your sleep balance, you need at least two nights of continuous and unrestricted good quality sleep.
What happens when we sleep?
During sleep, our bodies rest and preserve energy and decrease blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. But, at the same time, our brain stays active, laying down memory, carrying out processes that lead to physical growth and restoring daytime mental functioning.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
The duration and type of sleep is changed throughout life. The required hours of sleep is also depended from person to person but the following table provides a general guide.
|Age||The recommended amount of sleep|
|Infants aged 4–12 months||12–16 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 1–2 years||11–14 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 3–5 years||10–13 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 6–13 years||9–11 hours a day|
|Teens aged 14–18 years||8–10 hours a day|
|Adults aged 18–64 years|| 7–9 hours a day
|Adults aged 65+ years||7–8 hours a day|
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What Happens If We Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
If you are not taking enough sleep, your sleep loss adds up. That sleep lost is called your sleep debt. For example, if you lose 1 hour of sleep every night, you’ll have a sleep debt of around 7 hours after a week.
Lack of quality sleep can lead to:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, lethargy, and tiredness
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty in focusing and poor memory.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Chronic health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases
- Increased risk of alcohol and drug dependence
- Making mistakes at work, including causing accidents
- Relationship problems
- Lack of sex drive.
How to Counter Sleep Debt?
Well, we can say that getting enough sleep is like banking your savings: if you sleep out of according to your need, you have to put it back in to restore the balance, it is the only way to catch up. Lack of quality sleep night after night leads to sleep debt, where your performance and sleepiness both get developed worse.
When this happens, your learning, attention, and physical performance also suffer. To restore your sleep balance, you need at least two nights in a row of unrestricted good quality sleep.
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