Lack of sleep: An underrated global issue


17 Mar 2017

#WorldSleepDay: "Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life"

The 10th World Sleep Day is being celebrated across the globe incorporating this year's slogan, "Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life."

It is annually held on the Friday before the March Equinox and organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine's World Sleep Day Committee since 2008.

It is aimed to create awareness about benefits of good sleep, preventing and managing sleep disorders/problems and their medicines.

Sleep disorders, a global epidemic

Sleep disorders and problems constitute a global epidemic threatening the health and quality of life for nearly 45% of the population in the world. Research shows most adults don't get the enough, recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.

Good Sleep

Why is good sleep important?

Why is good sleep important?

Quality sleep is important for good health and well-being.

It is known to improve productivity, decision-making ability, creativity, alertness, memory, and mood.

The body heals itself during sleep; energy is preserved as movement, activity and sensory responses are suspended.

Sleep gives the body rest and relief in a stress-free environment; quality sleep can not only retain good health but also youth for longer.

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Harmful Effects

Lack of good sleep can cost you dearly

A good night's sleep is what we wish for at the end of the day.

Many suffer from sleeping disorders/problems leading to sleep deprivation; one in every five people across the world is sleep deprived.

Poor sleep could put people at an increased risk of heart stroke, diabetes, asthma, kidney diseases, psychological disorders and result in weak immune system, forgetfulness, confusion, weight gain, etc.

Snoring also leads to sleep deprivation

Snoring is often considered a common problem among many people; however, it can also harm the physical and mental health. It occurs when airflow through the nose and mouth is physically obstructed. Though usually not serious, seeking medical assistance is recommended to improve sleep quality.

Insufficient Sleep

Insufficient sleep, a growing public health issue

Insufficient sleep has dangerous effects on health, increasing mortality rate; it adversely impacts academic achievement and productivity levels.

Employees/workers who sleep less than six hours report higher productivity loss than those who sleep for 7-9 hours.

A study showed that due to increased mortality risks, the working population of a nation is reduced in size and also their performance at work is affected.

Sleeplessness costs the US $400 billion

Though very small, the percentage loss relative to GDP due to sleep-deprived workers affects the economy of a country. Sleep deprivation costs the US over $400bn a year with Japan losing $138bn, Germany $60bn, the UK $50bn, and Canada $21bn.


How to sleep well at night?

A regular bedtime and waking time along with moderate exercise help in sleeping better.

Avoid heavy foods, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol before bedtime.

Avoid sleeping for longer periods during the day to get a good night's sleep.

Create an ideal environment to relax before going to bed.

Most sleep disorders are preventable, manageable and treatable; do not hesitate to seek assistance.

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