World Sleep Day 2023: When is it and how can you take part?
As the days get warmer and the nights get shorter, your sleep pattern may be in flux – if it wasn’t already.
What better time to snuggle back into a satisfying sleep schedule than the celebration of World Sleep Day? For those who drop off in a military minute or the sleep-deprived slumping through the day – here’s all you need to know about World Sleep Day.
When is World Sleep Day?
World Sleep Day 2023 takes place today (March 17) and comes just a few days before the spring equinox.
World Sleep Day was first observed in 2008 by the World Sleep Society, previously known as the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).
WASM, with the goal of promoting and advancing sleep health globally, is a non-profit organisation made up of a collection of committed medical professionals and healthcare workers who practice and study in the field of sleep medicine and research.
What is this year’s World Sleep Day theme?
World Sleep Day 2023’s theme will be Sleep is Essential for Health. As many are well aware, a lack of sleep can affect physical, mental, and social wellbeing. World Sleep Day aims to promote this important global message of how vital sleep is to overall health.
“People should think about sleep like they do other important healthy behaviours such as exercise – as something to reflect upon and, when appropriate, improve so that one can feel better and remain healthier over time,” said Dr Lourdes DelRosso, World Sleep Day 2023 co-chair.
The day is intended to encourage more conversations about the topic of sleep with the participation of thousands of sleep professionals and advocates.
How can I take part in World Sleep Day?
The awareness event focuses on combating sleep problems as 62 per cent of adults around the world are dissatisfied with the amount of sleep they get, according to Philips Global Sleep Survey in 2019. But don’t lose sleep studying the facts – you can get involved by signing up as a delegate or finding an activity on the World Sleep Day website.
Around one-third of sleep-disorder sufferers seek professional help so, if you struggle with getting quality kip, you should see your GP.
How to sleep better
Good sleep starts before your head hits the pillow – building a consistent routine before bedtime can train our bodies to become sleepy at the same time every night. Warm baths and hot drinks can be a great way to soothe your body into sleep mode – but be sure to avoid caffeine before bed.
If your thoughts keep you awake, journalling can help clear your mind so you can think about your to-do list tomorrow.
Keep it consistent
According to NHS sleep tips, setting your internal body clock to a regular routine can help your body fall asleep more quickly as it expects sleep at a certain time. Building good habits should make sleep come more easily over time.
Stepping away from screens is difficult but holds great rewards as the blue light emitted from our devices keeps our brains awake. If the transition is too difficult, try investing in a blue light filter or turning your phone to night mode, where the screen colours are made warmer to filter out blue hues.
Fit and healthy
Adults might like to think they have matured enough not to need to follow a bedtime routine but tuckering yourself out like a toddler might be the best way to fall asleep when you want.
Doing some vigorous exercise earlier in the day and some light stretches before bed can prepare the body for a night of recovery.