17 Mar Sleep Awareness Week | Quality sleep, Sound mind, Happy world
Has it been a while since you have had a good and restful night’s sleep? Or are you taking sleep for granted and thinking it is a waste of time?
The average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Surprisingly, we also spend 7 years trying to get to sleep. That’s 33 years or 12,045 days spent in bed! However, trying to reduce the amount of time you sleep is probably not a good idea as multiple studies show that sleep is very important.
World Sleep Day (18th March) is an annual event held on the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox and 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 theme for 2022 – “Quality Sleep, Sound mind, Happy world” highlights the importance of adequate sleep and how it is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It encourages the community to prioritise sleep to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Quality sleep is vital for learning, concentration, and our memory, it also improves our mood. Whereas – lack of sleep has been found to impact negatively on both our physical and mental health. It can also be dangerous and lead to poor decision making.
Why is getting enough sleep important for our health? It lowers our risk of serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Adequate sleep reduces the risk of illness and boosts the immune system; it can also help to regulate healthy body weight.
The focus on regular sleep is based on the benefits that adequate, regular sleep offers. Studies have demonstrated that stable bedtimes and rise times are associated with better sleep quality in the young, middle-aged adults, and seniors alike. Regular sleepers have better mood, psychomotor performance, and academic achievement.
The World Sleep Society recommends the following steps to assist in achieving adequate and healthy sleep:
- Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
- If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea, and many sports drinks, as well as chocolate.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Reserve the bed for sleep.
- Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom, or recreation room. Limit blue light from computers and other devices – it can reduce the melatonin levels required for sleep.
World Sleep Day reminds us to tap into the power of sleep for maintaining good mental health and to not take the importance of a good sleep for granted.
For more information you can visit the following websites:
- Sleep Health Foundation https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/
- Australian Sleep Association https://www.sleep.org.au/
- World Sleep Society https://worldsleepsociety.org/
Or you can contact the Timboon Clinic on 5558 6088 to make an appointment with one of our GPs.
Make sure you have a sleep well spent so that your life can be spent well too. Isn’t it time you got some good quality shut eye?