Over 72 countries around the world are in a global call to action about the importance of sleep in conjunction with the 10th annual World Sleep Day, which falls on today, March 17th. With this year’s slogan of “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life”, the World Sleep Day 2017 is purposefully broad in meaning, surrounding the message that quality of life with a sleep disorder can be improved.


Why Quality Sleep is Important?

Analysis revealed that sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population. Quality sleep is one of the three pillars of good health along with a balanced diet and regular exercise. The three elements of good quality sleep are duration – the length of sleep, continuity – sleeping without fragmentation and depth – meaning sleep is deep enough to be restorative.

Image: scienceofimagery.com
Image: scienceofimagery.com
  • Sleep has a health impact on the prevalence of natural diseases.

Current research suggests stroke is more prevalent in people living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Heart failure is also 12-16% more prevalent in OSA patients. With statistics like this, World Sleep Day aims to inform the world about the importance of treating even mild sleep disorders. Individuals who struggle to get an entire night’s sleep without any interruptions experience higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses.

  • Poor sleep can cause psychological disorders.

Studies have shown that people with insomnia suffer from more symptoms of anxiety and depression than people without insomnia. And when recording nasal airflow, breathing effort, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body position during sleep, it was revealed that individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) experienced lower quality sleep than those with no history of depression.

Image: happy-dreams.hr
Image: happy-dreams.hr
  • Sleep plays a vital role in regulating metabolism and appetite. 

When sleep fails, health declines, decreasing quality of life. Sleep and energy balance are essential for health. During sleep, energy is conserved due to suspended activity, movement, and sensory responses, and is redirected to restore and replenish proteins and their assemblies into cellular structures. During wakefulness, various energy-demanding activities lead to hunger.

An increasing number of studies show an association between short sleep duration, sleep disturbances, and circadian desynchronization of sleep with adverse metabolic traits, in particular, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Changes in the activity of neuroendocrine systems, including the stress system, seem to be major mediators of the detrimental metabolic effects of insufficient sleep, through favoring outcomes such as increased appetite and enhanced sensitivity to food stimuli. Next, making unhealthy food choices further reduced motivation for physical activity.

Source: worldsleepday.org

Read also: How Sleep, Sex, Stress and Social Interactions Affect Our Health?