World Sleep Day: Regular Sleep, Healthy Future
Post created on 11:32 am
The World Sleep Day (WSD), created and hosted by the World Sleep Society and commemorated annually in the month of March is to raise awareness about the importance of healthy sleep. WSD for 2021 is slated for March 19th.
The theme for the 2021 WSD is ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future’ and is a call to all sleep professionals to advocate and educate the world about the importance of sleep for achieving an optimal quality of life and improve global health.
Insufficient sleep has been linked to car crashes, poor work performance and problems with mood and relationships, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
Researchers have found that healthy sleep reduces the risk of a long list of health problems—including obesity, hypertension, depression, Alzheimer’s, stroke and diabetes.
The following steps have been highlighted by The American Psychological Association as helpful in improving your sleep and changing unhealthy habits.
- Maintain a regular exercise routine. Research shows that exercise increases total sleep time, particularly the slow-wave sleep that’s important for body repair and maintenance. However, don’t exercise too late in the day. Working out close to bedtime can boost energy levels and body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Avoid late night meals and alcohol consumption. Skip heavy meals before bed, and limit alcohol. Even if a cocktail seems to help you fall asleep, it can interfere with sleep quality and disrupt sleep later in the night.
- Curb nicotine and caffeine use. These stimulants can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, especially if consumed late in the day.
- Create a relaxing sleep environment. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and as quiet as possible and keep electronics such as a computer, TV, and phones out of the bedroom. Exposure to stimulating objects and lights from computer and TV screens can affect levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your body’s internal clock.
- Don’t check the clock. Tallying how much sleep you’re losing can create anxiety and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Take notes. If you can’t stop the stream of thoughts, get up and write them down. Tell yourself you can check the list in the morning, so there’s no need to keep worrying tonight.
- Set a sleep schedule. Maintain a regular sleep routine. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. Don’t go to bed too early. If you hit the sack before you’re sleepy, you may lie in bed awake and start to feel anxious. That will only make it more difficult to drift off.
- Limit naps. Late afternoon naps can interfere with night-time slumber.
- Schedule down time before bed. Setting aside time to unwind and quiet your mind will help you get into a sleepy state of mind. Meditating, breathing exercises, taking a bath and listening to relaxing music are great ways to calm down at night.
- Don’t discuss or deal with stressful or anxiety-inducing situations right before bedtime. Just as exercise can increase energy levels and body temperature, discussing difficult topics will increase tension and may provoke a racing heartbeat. Protect the quality of your sleep by dealing with any stressful topics long before bedtime.