Whoever decided to make March 18th World Sleep Day obviously had some fantastic Paddy’s day plans. For those of you who engaged with a few pints to celebrate your Irishness, we’re sure you’re sleeping it off today (if you had the sense to take the day off work).
However there is a more serious message behind the annual event, in that it is intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. The World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) organise the event every year and aim to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
For most of us, eight full hours of unbroken sleep is a mythical thing, but the folks at the World Sleep Day Committee ensure us that “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream.” They say that there are three elements to gaining a good night sleep:
Duration– The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
Continuity– Sleep cycles should be seamless without interruption.
Depth– Sleep should be deep enough or sufficiently sound to be restorative and refreshing.
The Committee also notes that sound sleep facilitates the preservation of mental health. Sleep disturbances are a risk factor for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. In turn, control of these disorders improves the quality of sleep.
Events here in Ireland include: The Bon Secours Hospital in Dublin, Ireland will have an informational stand to promote World Sleep Day 2014 in their hospital.
Editors of European Urology’s Nocturia Resource Centre are hosting an online platform for medical healthcare professionals with sleep medicine expert, Professor Donald L. Bliwise of Emory University, Atlanta USA, as Associate Editor.
If you do have serious sleep issues it is important to contact your GP. If it’s Paddy’s Day related, we’re sure you just need an early night tonight to recover!