“51% of adults worldwide report they get less sleep than they need on an average night, and 80 percent of adults say they are using weekend days to make up for sleep lost during the week.” Princess Cruises’ ninth annual Relaxation Report.
This is the rationale behind the World Sleep Day (WSD) celebration. WSD 2021 is marked today, March 19 as a global awareness event championed by the World Sleep Society since 2008 to increase awareness about problems that arise from sleeplessness. WSD publicly displays efforts taken towards the prevention and management of sleep disorders. It is an annual event that puts focus on important issues related to sleep and the lack of it.
Since the establishment of World Sleep Day, several inspiring topics had been discussed. The first edition focused on conversations around “Sleep Well, Live Fully Awake”. However, the theme for WSD 2021 is “Regular Sleep, Healthy Future”.
Experts agree that sleep is essential to our welfare and its significance cannot be overstressed. It is believed to significantly contribute to our well-being and daily satisfaction. In the words of Arianna Huffington, the author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your Life, One Night at a Time, “Sleep is the underpinning of our entire well-being. For centuries people thought that sleep was a time of inactivity, that the brain was resting. But all the new science proves that the opposite is true – that during sleep the brain is in a state of intense activity, which is necessary for us to fully recharge and be productive, creative, and truly connect with ourselves and others during the day.”
Actually, lack of sleep is related to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Quality sleep is a vital human need, like exercise and nutrition, it is essential to metabolic regulation.
As revealed in research By Dr. Adewole Temitayo Oluwatoyin in “Pattern of Sleep Disorders Among Adult Patients”, sleep disorder is associated with age, marital/educational status, environmental noise, chronic medical condition, and high level of exhaled carbon monoxide. Sleep can affect productivity. People should, therefore, adopt a healthy sleep pattern to enhance their performance.
In Nigeria, several other studies have shown that sleep problems constitute a huge burden. For example, sleepwalking was associated with violence and the experience was psychologically disturbing while snoring was associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Meanwhile, sleep deficit was identified as a significant cause of road traffic accidents. The overall rate of medical consultation was also higher in patients with sleep disorders than in those without. This is also the case in most developing countries. In fact, disorders are associated with several morbidities and increased mortality rates. This underscores the importance of sleep problems as indicators of one’s health status. In essence, sleep-related issues should be regularly discussed and managed.
The National Sleep Foundation states that adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Considering that poor sleep quality has a major negative long-term impact on health. Here are steps recommended by the World Sleep Society to prevent sleep challenges:
- Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
- If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea, and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom, or recreation room.