What’s the secret to success and a healthy future, according to experts? Good sleeping habits!
Today, 17th March, is World Sleep Day, the annual event sponsored by the World Sleep Society. World Sleep Day was created to draw attention to the importance of sleep, and is an opportunity to promote sleep health, alongside thousands of sleep health professionals and advocates.
Why is this important?
We live in a 24-hour culture. At least 8 hours are spent working – travelling to see clients, keeping on top of important legal paperwork, attending meetings, commuting. Follow this with stimulating on-tap entertainment provided by smart devices and streaming TV, and sleep can be seen either as a low-priority luxury, or a timewaster.
Adults need around eight hours sleep a night to be healthy, but a recent study found most adults only get around six.
How does this affect work life?
World Sleep Society has taken recent scientific studies:
- 6 hours of sleep for 14 nights equals the same decreased attention span as total sleep deprivation for 2 nights.
- Just one night of poor-quality sleep negatively impacts attention span, memory recall and learning ability.
- After multiple nights of sleep restriction, there is progressive reduction in sustained attention and speed of processing.
- 46% of adults report missing work events and making errors at work after sleep disturbances.
Other problems associated with poor sleeping patterns can include:
- Reduced focus and motivation
- Sluggish mood and tiredness
- Lowered general health
Sleep is essential for health
The theme for World Sleep Day 2023 is ‘Sleep is Essential for Health’. Just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behaviour that is foundational to physical, mental, and social well-being. Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population.
So, what can you do?
World Sleep Day offers a world stage to interested parties to join forces. Individuals and sleep centres around the world are invited to participate to learn about the importance of sleep, and the preservation of high quality and sufficient sleep. Join an event near you by exploring the options here.
We’ve also put together a list of 7 things you can do to get a better night’s sleep:
- Give your body clock a helping hand by getting enough daylight during the day and darkness at night – blackout blinds in bedrooms can make a huge difference.
- Make sure your bedroom is cool and quiet, too.
- Get into a good sleeping and waking routine. Use ‘gentle’ alarm systems in the morning, and bedtime reminders in the evening, if needed.
- Try not to have big meals, sugar or caffeine late in the evening.
- Exercise is good, but not just before going to bed.
- If your mind is racing before bed, try meditation or mindful breathing.
- Turn off all electronic devices two hours before going to bed, and use this time to relax and unwind.
Lead by example
Imagine an office where employees got enough sleep. They would likely:
- be more alert
- have more energy
- take fewer sick days with improved overall health
- create a pleasant work environment due to improved mood
So why not lead by example, at work and at home? Promote a healthy lifestyle to your colleagues and get some more rest!
For more information and helpful resources, visit the official Word Sleep Day website.