World Sleep Day 2016



Constantly reaching for the snooze button?  Perpetually pouring another cup of coffee?  Always dreaming of a good night’s sleep?  Stop yawning because today is the day to DREAM BIG and take back your sleep!

Friday, March 18, 2016, World Sleep Day 2016 will be celebrated all over the globe.  World Sleep Day (WSD) is an annual event that calls to action important issues related to sleep using collaborative efforts energized by sleep professionals all over the world.  The focus of WSD is to bring cognizance to the many burdens of sleep problems.  WSD publicly displays efforts being taken toward prevention and management of sleep disorders.

This year’s theme, “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream”, is purposefully broad in meaning surrounding the message that sleep maladies can be ameliorated, but recognition has to come first, emphasizing the importance of overall health and well-being.  Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help.  This year’s slogan encompasses both adult and pediatric themes, as well as topics of insomnia and hypersomnia, parasomnias, and circadian dysrhythmias.

Delegates from around the world spread sleep issue awareness locally by hosting special events including public lectures and workshops, appear on local television and radio shows, create and distribute booklets, pamphlets, promotional videos, and press releases on sleep. Delegates have also hosted interactive school events for children and their parents and translate WSD material into foreign languages.

World Sleep Society and the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG) have collaborated to launch a sleep directory aiming to globally connect healthcare professionals and patients in their search for sleep experts. This joint project is currently enrolling healthcare providers at According to Dr. Diego Garcia-Borreguero, President of the IRLSSG, “the directory will enhance collaboration among RLS researchers and clinicians providing a communication platform for broad networking between professionals and the public worldwide”.


The National Wellbeing Service has launched today on World Sleep Day, 18th March, 2016, our new online magazine, Sleep, Insomnia and Wellbeing Daily. A free twice daily newsletter. Take a look now


World Sleep Society has issued the following declaration related to World Sleep Day:

• Whereas, sleepiness and sleeplessness constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life, oh
• Whereas, much can be done to prevent and treat sleepiness and sleeplessness,
• Whereas, professional and public awareness are the firsts steps to action,
• We hereby DECLARE that the disorders of sleep are preventable and treatable medical conditions in every country of the world.

World Sleep Society has developed ten specific recommendations on how to obtain a healthy restorative sleep. Simple recommendations include watching what you eat and drink, exercising, and limiting activities before bedtime. These recommendations for children and adults can be viewed online.


  1. World Sleep Day is an annual event to raise awareness of sleep disorders and the burden that they place on society. World Sleep Day 2016 will be held on Friday March 18, 2016.
  2. Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help.
  3. Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population.
  4. Better understanding of sleep conditions and more research into the area will help reduce the burden of sleep disorders on society.
  5. Three elements of good quality sleep are:
    – Duration- The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
    – Continuity- Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
    – Depth- Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.


Importance of Good-Quality, Restorative Sleep
o Good quality and restorative sleep is essential for day-to-day functioning. Studies suggest that sleep quality rather than quantity has a greater impact on quality of life and daytime functioning.12
o Healthy sleep in children will improve the child’s overall wellness and development. WORLD SLEEP SOCIETY has created the 10 commandments of Healthy Sleep for Children, available at
o Poor quality sleep has a greater negative impact on health, well-being and satisfaction with life than the quantity of sleep a person gets.9,13
o Quality sleep is responsible for alertness, improved functioning the following day and better quality of life.

Consequences of Sleep Disorders

o Sleep disorders cause significant individual and societal burden and form a serious public health problem.
o Obstructive sleep apnea significantly impacts health and well-being. The drop in oxygen that occurs when breathing stops due to OSA puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions.
o Directly or indirectly, disrupted sleep can have a negative effect on family life and relationships by affecting a person’s mood and the way in which they are able to perform daily activities and interact socially.

Extent of the Epidemic
o 35% of people do not feel they get enough sleep, impacting both their physical and mental health.
o Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects approximately 4% of the adult population. 21 If not properly managed, OSA can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being.
o Restless Legs Syndrome is a common disorder and occurs in between 3-10% of the population, although the number of people affected and the severity of the condition differs between countries.
o People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. OSA is caused by a blockage of the upper airway. The collapse of the airway may be due to factors such as a large tongue, extra tissue or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open.
o Each breathing pause can last from 10 seconds to more than a minute and is accompanied by a drop in oxygen associated with each event. The events may occur 5 to 50 times or more each hour. This puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, NIH, 2009).

Known Consequences: Some Statistics
o A US study has estimated the annual costs of insomnia to be between $92.5 billion and $107.5 billion.
o 71,000 people suffer injuries every year due to sleep-related accidents.
o 1,550 people die because of sleep-related accidents.
o 46% of individuals with frequent sleep disturbances report missing work or events, or making errors at work, compared to 15% of healthy sleepers.18

o Insomnia affects between 30-45% of the adult population.
o Primary insomnia (insomnia with no underlying condition) affects 1-10% of the general population, increasing up to 25% in the elderly.
o Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep also leaves us more vulnerable to accidents. People who suffer insomnia are seven times more likely to become involved in an accident causing death or serious injury than good sleepers.
o Studies have shown that people with insomnia suffer from more symptoms of anxiety and depression than people without insomnia.9
o Insomnia has a negative impact in all areas of a sufferer’s life.
o Insomnia can affect work performance, with a change in character and a drop in the quality of work. If the disorder remains untreated, this may even lead to reduced job prospects and loss of employment.

Sleep Breathing Problems
Obstructive sleep apnea is very prevalent, yet under recognized. The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study estimated a prevalence of 17% among men and 9% among women in that state in the United States. In northern India, the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is 13.7%. OSA is an independent risk factor for hypertension and other cardiovascular ailments. In children, sleep apnea may be the underlying cause of neuropsychological disturbances. Pediatric sleep apnea is typically associated with adenotonsillar hypertrophy.

Untreated sleep apnea may lead to heart diseases, stroke, and vascular dementia. Both adults and children should be formally investigated in sleep centres if sleep apnea is suspected, because both adult and pediatric sleep apnea is treatable and correctable; a correct and precise diagnosis is always required.


1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
2. If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
7. Use comfortable bedding.
8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.


1. Go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 9:00 pm.
2. Have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
4. Make your child’s bedroom sleep conducive – cool, dark, and quiet.
5. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
6. Avoid bright light at bedtime and during the night, and increase light exposure in the morning.
7. Avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
8. Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the bedroom and limit the use of electronics before bedtime.
9. Avoid caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and teas (as well as iced tea).
10. Keep a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.

World Sleep Day is organized by World Sleep Society, an international association whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide. Start your journey toward quality sleep by visiting us at Sponsors of 2016 World Sleep Day include Westin Hotels and Resorts, JellyCoe, and Sleep Radio.


Please visit the World Sleep Day website.