World Sleep Day 2020: All you need to know

World Sleep Day is celebrated on Friday each year before Spring Vernal Equinox. This year it falls on 13 March. Let us have a look at World Sleep Day, its history, how is it celebrated and 2020 theme.
Created On: Mar 13, 2020 10:28 IST
Modified On: Mar 13, 2020 10:28 IST

Sleep, one of the important activities of our life. A person every day should at least take seven to eight hours of sleep. World Sleep Day is is a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving.

The World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society organised the World Sleep Day with an objective to minimise the burden of the problems related to sleep on the society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

World Sleep Day: History

Since 2007, World Sleep Day is celebrated annually as a global awareness event that is hosted by the World Sleep Society.

World Sleep Day first co-chairs were Liborio Parrino, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Parma University, Italy and Antonio Culebras, MD, Professor of Neurology, Upstate Medical University, and Consultant, The Sleep Center, Community General Hospital, Syracuse, New York, USA.

Therefore, we can say that it is an annual awareness event started by a group of dedicated healthcare providers and members of the medical community working and studying in the area of sleep medicine and research. The main goal of the first World Sleep Day was to bring healthcare providers together to discuss the information related to sleep across the globe and distribute its importance.

When is World Sleep Day celebrated?

It is celebrated on Friday 13 March in 2020. Basically, it is held before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year (the exact date may change annually but always held on Friday).

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World Sleep Day 2020: Slogan/ Theme

In 2020, this year marks the 13th annual World Sleep Day on 13 March. The slogan of World Sleep Day is Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet. It highlights the importance of sleep that acts as a pillar of health, allows better decision making and generates a cognitive understanding. It also focuses on the quality of life that can be improved with healthy sleep. We can understand it like this that when sleep fails, health declines and on the other side decrease the quality of life. Sound sleep is a treasured function.

World Sleep Day: Celebrations

It is hosted by the World Sleep Society (WSS) which is a non-profit based organisation in the United States.

To improve the poor sleep habits that are a cause of poor quality sleep in adults the World Sleep Society has provided 10 tips. These are as follows:

- Generate a regular bedtime and waking time.

- If you are habitual of taking siestas then do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.

- Avoid taking excessive alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime and also do not smoke.

- Avoid taking caffeine 6 hours before going to bedtime. It includes coffee, tea, soda drinks, and chocolates.

- Take a light snack before going to bed at night. It will be better to avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime.

- Do regular exercise but not going before bed at night.

- Use comfortable bedding.

- Before going to sleep, the room should be properly ventilated or maintain the proper comfortable sleep temperature setting.

- Discard or block all distracting noise before going to sleep and eliminate as much light as you can.

- Take time and reserve your night time for sleep and sex. Avoid work or general recreation.

Activities and events are free and open to the public. World Sleep Day is sponsored by several companies that provide funds to World Sleep Society to reimburse the costs of the awareness day, including the costs of press releases, website hosting and creation of educational content.

- In 2017, around 155 sleep awareness activities occurred.

- In 2018, World Sleep Day was chaired by committee member Liborio Parrino, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Parma University, Italy; with support from World Sleep Society’s staff and a full committee of 19 sleep specialists from 17 countries.

- In 2019, 12th World Sleep Day was celebrated and highlights the importance of sleep.

In the end, let us have a look at some sleep disorders that affect life.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder is a condition that results due to improper sleep or the way that you sleep. It can affect the overall health, safety, and quality of life. Other health problems can also occur due to improper sleep.

Signs and symptoms of sleep disorders are excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep.

Sleep disorders can be of various types and can be grouped into various categories including behaviour, problems with natural sleep-wake cycles, breathing problems, difficulty in sleeping or how much sleepy you feel during the day. Common types of sleep disorders are:

- Insomnia: Difficulty in falling asleep or remain asleep during the whole night.

- Sleep Apnea: When you are sleeping in the night you feel difficulty in breathing patterns. There are several types of sleep apnea.

- Restless legs syndrome (RLS): It is a sleep movement disorder. It is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease. It also causes an uncomfortable sensation and an urge to move the legs while you try to fall asleep.

- Narcolepsy: It is a condition that is characterised by extreme sleepiness during the day and falling asleep during the day.

Therefore, we can say that World Sleep Day is celebrated across the world on 13 March, 2020 to raise awareness about the importance of sleep and ways to manage sleeping disorders.

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