World Sleep Day

World Sleep Day Quick Facts - EU

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2024 Date15 March 2024

World Sleep Day

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World Sleep Day History

World Sleep Day aims to promote awareness about the importance of quality sleep and the hazardous implications of sleep disorders. This globally recognised occasion encourages sleep-related discussions and events focused on explaining the significant physical and mental health benefits of maintaining a good sleep schedule. Notably, the event seeks to bridge the gap between medicine and society by shedding light on scientific research and findings concerning the importance of sleep and the risk factors of poor sleep habits, spanning engagement periods within academic, clinical, and public realms.

Historically, World Sleep Day has been extensively endorsed across the European Union (EU). The EU acknowledges sleep's vital role in overall health maintenance and productivity levels, and as such pays particular attention to this observance. In 2017, the European Parliament even compiled a report titled: “Effect of the internal market on sleep disorders”. Evidently, the World Sleep Day observance in the EU promotes the exchange of information about sleep-related research findings and promotes awareness of sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, insomnia and the societal burden they carry.

World Sleep Day holds an array of events across the EU. Typically, these include public lectures, discussions, displays in public places, and press releases promoting good sleep hygiene. In certain years, EU-wide campaigns were initiated to promote awareness, such as the "Wake Up Call" campaign addressing sleep apnea. Evidence of growing attentiveness towards the observance lays in these united efforts to underline the health benefits of good sleep and the toll excess tiredness has on society - all in pursuit of promoting healthy sleep habits. World Sleep Day is usually observed on the Friday before the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox.

Facts about World Sleep Day

  • The slogan for World Sleep Day in 2023 was Sleep is Essential for Health.
  • Reports by the CDC show that adults aged 18-64 who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to report chronic health conditions such as depression, arthritis, and asthma, compared to those who sleep more than 7 hours.
  • Sleep deprivation costs the EU billions each year. A report by RAND Europe estimated that lack of sleep costs the EU up to €433 billion a year due to lower productivity and greater mortality risk.
  • In various countries within the European Union, Sleep Medicine is recognized as a subspecialty, leading to more doctors and researchers studying sleep and forming European Sleep Research Societies, thus contributing towards the discussion each World Sleep Day.

Top things to do in the EU for World Sleep Day

  • Get better sleep! Some healthy sleep habits are: establishing a regular sleep and wake schedule, eliminating disturbances, and getting an adequate amount of sleep each night.
  • Browse activites for World Sleep Day by country.
  • Read a book to learn more about the importance of sleep:
    Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - by Matthew Walker: This book provides valuable insights into the science of sleep that apply universally.
    The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders - by Charles M. Morin and Colin A. Espie: This comprehensive handbook includes research from various regions, including Europe.
  • Improve Your Sleep Environment: Use this day as a reminder to invest in your sleep health - perhaps by upgrading your mattress, pillows, or bedding, or by adding sleep-friendly elements to your bedroom such as blackout curtains or white noise machines.

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