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World Sleep Day: Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life
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World Sleep Day: Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life

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Highlights:
  • World Sleep Day is observed every year on 16th March to raise awareness on the importance of sleep
  • The theme for World Sleep Day 2018 is "Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life"
  • A good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being

World Sleep Day is an annual event held on 16th March, hosted by the World Sleep Society since 2007. The day aims to raise awareness on the importance of sleep and a call to action on issues related to sleep. Sleep is essential to maintain mood, memory and good cognitive health. Lack of adequate sleep may affect daytime alertness and memory.

The theme for World Sleep Day 2018 is "Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life." The theme emphasizes the importance of circadian rhythms in the healthy sleep cycle. Biological clocks within the body produce circadian rhythms (events such as rhythms in hormones, body temperature, and alertness levels). Environmental factors such as sunlight can affect the circadian rhythms.

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Sleep is the body's way to recuperate from the wear and tear. Experts have suggested that every individual must sleep eight hours a day. Lack of sleep can trigger a host of health issues like anxiety, depression, hypertension, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, impaired immunity, delayed wound healing and premature death.

Importance of Sleep

Sleep and well-being go hand-in-hand. A good night's sleep is as important as a healthy diet and exercise for overall health.

Improves Memory: Sleep helps the brain make memories through a process called memory consolidation. An individual can be forgetful, inattentive and slow due to lack of sleep.
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Healthy Weight: A good night's sleep helps you not to gain extra weight. Sleep deprivation causes weight gain by affecting the metabolism and by altering the levels of hormones that affect the appetite.

Enhances Mood: Sleeping for a minimum of seven to eight hours a night can help you perform better at work. But, lack of sleep can result in irritability, inability to concentrate and moodiness.

Boost Immunity and Cell Repair: The cells of the body undergo repair and rejuvenation during sleep. For people who suffer from sleep deprivation, this function is impaired, leading to tightening of capillaries that can affect the absorption of nutrients. Sleep deprivation alters the immune function, affecting the body's ability to fight infections and diseases.

Safety: Lack of sleep increases the tendency to fall asleep during the daytime and may cause falls and road accidents.

Facts and Statistics about Sleep and Sleep Disorders

  • Almost 20% people in the world are sleep deprived
  • 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder
  • 93% Indians sleep for less than 8 hours a day
  • 11% fall asleep at work due to lack of sleep
  • 80% of depressed individuals have at least one insomnia condition
  • Obese people are more likely to have sleep disorders
  • Loss of 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Do's
  • Maintain a fixed sleeping schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
  • Spend some time in natural light to promote melatonin production in the body
  • Create a comfortable sleeping environment
  • Read a book or take a warm bath before bed to de-stress and feel relaxed before bedtime
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages in the evening. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolates can affect sleep schedule
  • Do not drink alcohol before bed as it may worsen snoring
  • Do not exercise late evening as exercise stimulates the body and makes it difficult to fall asleep
  • Avoid high-fat, spicy and sugary food before bedtime
  • Do not take a nap before bedtime as it reduces the body's ability to sleep at night
  • Do not watch television and avoid staring at the screen as it affects the sleep cycle

Foods that Promote Sleep

Banana - Contains natural muscle-relaxants like potassium and magnesium

Warm Milk - Contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin, which induces sleep

Cherries - Contain melatonin that regulates sleep and wake cycle

Nuts - Almonds and walnuts contain magnesium which helps improve sleep quality and regulates blood sugar while sleeping

References :
  1. Importance of Sleep : Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep - (https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health)
  2. 22 Facts About Sleep That Will Surprise You (Infographic) - (https://health.clevelandclinic.org/22-facts-about-sleep-that-will-surprise-you-infographic/)
Source: Medindia

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