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Discover the Importance of Sleep on World Sleep Day: A Reminder to Prioritize Your Wellbeing with Flexispot

08 March 2023

Like a clarion call, World Sleep Day is an avenue through which the World Sleep Society (formerly known as the World Association of Sleep Medicine) calls on everyone to rearrange their sleep health awareness activities. After all, no human being can live healthily in the absence of sleep.

There are some sleeping conditions you need to observe while there are some you need to abstain from. Luckily for you, Flexispot has all the mysteries simplified in this piece. In over 80 countries this year, community health experts, sleep advocates, and members of the World Sleep Society will be organizing different programs to support sleep health.

Since 2008, the anniversary is celebrated on the Friday preceding the northern hemisphere vernal equinox. It, therefore, follows that this year's edition holds Friday, March 17, 2023. However, we should not be carried away by the various activities lined up for the anniversary.

Rather, we should keep our eyes open to the perks of sound and healthy sleep and call the world's attention to sleep problems alongside their social and medical implications. In other words, you can explore the goodies on World Sleep Day to prevent and manage your sleep disorders.

Let's dig deeper!

The 2023 Theme - Sleep is Essential for the Health

Like engaging in exercises and eating well, sleep is an activity that is significant to your mental, physical, and social welfare. However, it's quite unfortunate that not everyone sees sleep as an important ingredient in the recipe for sound health.

This explains why the United States spent over $400 billion in 2019 to tackle the problem of sleep deprivation while Japan lost $138 billion, the UK pegged at $50 billion, Germany $60 billion, and Canada about $21 billion.

Therefore, we need to spread the news of sleep health as we draw closer to World Sleep Day. Let the topic of sleep be encouraged and supported as we make the world a better place to live in.

Meanwhile, what is the origin of World Sleep Day? What led to its emergence? What did the early celebrations look like? Let's take some steps down memory lane.

The Protagonists of the World Sleep Day and the Significance of the Campaign

The origin of this annual awareness program can be traced to a group of committed healthcare experts and members of the medical field. As expected, their area of specialization was sleep research and medicine and they brainstormed on how they can spread the word to every corner of the planet.

Initially, their objective for the first World Sleep Day was to create a forum of seasoned and highly qualified healthcare experts to share ideas and materials on sleep across the world. From there, innovation started finding its way in.

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

But why do we have to set a day aside for Sleep? The annual event started as a counterattack and response to the brewing conspiracy that sleep was not essential to human health. So World Sleep Day came to put history in order by prioritizing sleep in personal well-being.

With contemporary society's 24/7 workflow, the founders of this initiative also aim to commemorate the significance of healthy sleep.

Annual Celebration of the World Sleep Day

As we've earlier pointed out, World Sleep Day is observed yearly on the Friday before the northern hemisphere vernal equinox. This means that the day cannot be uniform every year.

The first event took place on March 14, 2008, and it involved the distribution of educational and informative materials alongside exhibitions across the world. Thanks to the advancement in tech, World Sleep Day can now be observed online.

Various Categories of Sleep

What is REM Sleep?

This type of sleep is most times labeled as paradoxical sleep because its EEG process captures desynchronized low-voltage activity which can be compared to when you're fully awake. Paradoxical indeed!

During this phase, your muscles will be paralyzed and dream tends to work at a high pace. According to neurologists and neuroimaging reports, there is higher brain activity during REM sleep than during non-REM sleep.

However, it must be noted that there is a lower level of cortices associated with logical thought processes under REM sleep when compared to wakefulness.

What is the Most Rewarding Sleep Pattern for Humans? (Monophasic, Biphasic, Triphasic, etc)

The sleep that occurs in one block or stretches over 24 hours is called monophasic sleep while any type that involves two or more episodes within the same range of 24 hours is tagged biphasic or polyphasic sleep.

Thus, you can easily deduce that there is a huge diversity in terms of sleeping patterns among humans. And since nothing substantial is known about the sleep patterns of human beings, we can all agree that monophasic sleep is common among healthy adults across the world. Also, some cultures recognize napping during the day and this gives rise to the biphasic pattern.

Therefore, the best answer to the question of the best sleep pattern is the pattern that offers you sound and adequate sleep (both in terms of quality and duration). That is, it all depends on individual configurations to know if a single sleep pattern (monophasic) or more than one (biphasic or polyphasic) provides you adequate sleep.

Finally, it must be noted that it is impossible for everyone to fall asleep within a particular timeframe throughout the day. This is because research has proven e biphasic sleep patterns are present in 7% of the global population while the polyphasic pattern is connected to 1% of the population.

What is Microsleep?

This term alludes to brief lapses of responsiveness you probably experience while sleeping and it often lasts between 0.5 and 15 seconds. For a biphasic or polyphasic sleeper, you might experience microsleep between the end of an episode and when you're launching into the next sleep episode.

Microsleep can be linked to full or partial eye closure, absence of receptiveness to the real world, and drowsiness. It can also be found among folks whose line of work requires a high level of alertness or responsiveness such as car and truck drivers, air-traffic controllers, and pilots.

Recommended Healthy Sleep Habits

The first set of hacks you need to learn while aspiring for a restorative and sound sleep includes the depth of the sleep, the continuity of the sleep, and how regularly you observe it.

Hence, here are some guidelines you should observe:

Give room for an adequate amount of sleep every night (you should not go less than 5 to 6 hours).

Create and pay attention to consistent sleep and wake-up schedules. You can start by choosing a favorable bedtime when you can easily fall asleep as soon as you hit the bed and ensure that the rising time is regular.

If you feel you are not having enough sleep, we will suggest that you go to bed earlier.

You should make sure that the sleep pattern is continuous. That is, you should abstain from sleep disturbances as much as you can. Remember, the secret is continuity.

If any emergency or unforeseen circumstance made you change your regular sleep schedule, you should resume the regular schedule as soon as possible.

Getting a Regular Sleep Pattern

Practice, they say, makes perfect. So the magic to getting a regular sleep pattern resides in how consistent you are. And to make it easier for you, follow this guide.

You should ensure that you go to bed at the same time every night. Also, waking up at the same time every day would help and you need to repeat the cycle seven days a week, at least.

The idea of consistency here is to help your internal biological clock stay stabilized by offering you the opportunity to fall asleep and experience an uninterrupted sleep pattern.

Key Talking Points and Statistics About Sleep and Sleep Patterns

35% of the US adult population feel they are not getting enough sleep and this affects both their mental and physical health faculties.

Approximately 4% of the adult population is affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and, if not well-managed, can have lifelong impacts on the victim's health and lifestyle.

Research embarked upon by sleep experts shows that an average human being spends up to one-third of his life sleeping. This shows that sleep is an important human necessity, like drinking water and eating foot, and is primary to our general well-being.

Like nutrition and proper exercise, sleep is needed for metabolic regulation in children and there's a piece of evidence to support this point, especially with a relationship between childhood obesity and sleep duration (more common among girls).

Regular breathing while sleeping is also at the core of your overall health and well-being. Conversely, the disturbance of breathing ability during sleep is referred to as sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects about 2% of the adult women population and 4% of the male population.

Sleep apnea is capable of causing fatigue and daytime sleepiness. This is why we earlier suggested that you investigate yourself and your sleep pattern before taking naps during the day.

Sleep apnea can also lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and ischemic heart disease.

Lack of sleep can be linked to various psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, weakened immune systems, and psychosis. In rare cases, it can pave way for cancers.

About 46% of adult individuals with regular sleep interruptions are reported as unproductive or making errors at work when compared to 15% of office workers who sleep healthily.

71,000 people sustain injuries while about 1,550 fatalities are recorded annually due to sleep-related accidents.

A study conducted by a group of US sleep professionals has pegged the annual costs of fighting insomnia between $92.5 billion and $107.5 billion.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Hours of Sleep should a Person Really Aim For?

The ideal benchmark to determine your sleep duration mainly depends on your heredity. However, most surveys have shown that the average duration of an adult's sleep pattern is within 7 to 8 hours.

Technically, sleep experts and healthcare providers have agreed to peg the optimal range of sleep duration to be within 6.68 to 10 hours every night.

Is There a Problem If You Don't Dream While Sleeping?

Of course, dreaming is a mental activity that happens in sleep and has been associated with physiology. Therefore, distorted sleep physiology caused by wakefulness or sleep disorders can affect the ability to remember the content of your dreams.

But irrespective of the level of your mesolimbic dopaminergic system, your inability to recall your dreams might mean that your sleep is continuous as long as you are healthy. It could also mean that you're free of sleep interruptions and you are in an emotionally balanced condition during wakefulness.

Is it Healthy to Take a Nap During the Day?

The answer to this question can be easily linked to how sufficient in duration and high-quality your nocturnal sleep is. So if you feel sleepy during the day, you should assess your nocturnal sleep pattern and check whether the duration, depth, and continuity are intact.

Also, note that healthy and happy sleep puts you in your productive and active state throughout the day, so you won't need a nap. But if napping is the only alternative to deal with chronic sleep deprivation caused by an inadequate amount of sleep or other interruptions or disorders that affect sleep function, it should be taken.

To back this position up, a recent study that used polysomnography to evaluate the effects of a month-long and one-hour nap per day schedule among older men and women has shown that napping supported waking abilities without adversely affecting nighttime sleep.

Summary (Conclusion)

The three key elements of sound and adequate sleep are:

Depth: The sleep should be deep enough to restore you to your active or productive mood.

Duration: The length or amount of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to wake up the next day and be fully alert.

Continuity: Your sleep schedules should have no interruptions. It should be a seamless and unending cycle.

You should bear in mind that most sleep disorders can be prevented or treated. However, less than ⅓ of the victims seek professional assistance. Therefore, a proper understanding of sleep conditions and more studies into them will help minimize the weary load of sleep disorders in modern society.