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Why Is World Sleep Day Celebrated? Know All About Its History, Effects Of Bad Sleep & More

World Sleep Day is observed every year, prior to Spring Vernal Equinox to raise public awareness of the value of sleep, which is frequently jeopardised.

| Written By
Isha Bhandari
World Sleep Day

Image: World Sleep Day (Shutterstock)

World Sleep Day is observed every year, prior to Spring Vernal Equinox to raise public awareness of the value of sleep, which is frequently jeopardised by modern lifestyle patterns. This year, it is being celebrated on March 17, 2023.

A good night's sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation is crucial for individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

The World Sleep Society states that the annual celebration aims to honour sleep, raise awareness of its value, and address poor sleep habits that have an impact on people's health.

Unfortunately, many people do not consider getting enough sleep an essential behavior, owing to which World Sleep Day helps educate people about the significance of sleep and reduce the impact of sleep disorders on society.

World Sleep Day History 

The World Sleep Society, formerly known as the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), a non-profit organisation with a group of committed medical professionals working and studying in the area of sleep medicine and research, first observed World Sleep Day in 2008 in order to promote and advance sleep health globally and minimise bad effects of poor sleep. 

The first World Sleep Day aimed to bring together sleep healthcare professionals to discuss and disseminate sleep knowledge globally.

Need to observe World Sleep Day? 

Long working hours and longer commutes are just two examples of the many variables that have contributed to today's increasingly stressful lifestyles. Yet, in recent years, the value of getting enough sleep has increased in order to ensure consistency in performance, which has increased the significance of campaigns like World Sleep Day.

"World Sleep Day is an opportunity to promote sleep health alongside thousands of other sleep health professionals and advocates. When we all promote sleep health and #WorldSleepDay together, our combined effort is greater than the sum of its parts. Spread the word about sleep health on World Sleep Day, and help elevate the conversation around sleep,” says the World Sleep Society. 

Beware of these Poor sleep habits

  1. According to, eating a large meal before bed and drinking too much before bed may provoke heartburn symptoms and mean multiple trips to the bathroom during the night respectively.
  2. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, the last thing you need to do is lie there awake. If this happens chronically, as may occur in insomnia, you may learn to associate your bed with anxiety and not being asleep. 
  3. Trying to fall asleep in an environment that is stimulating to our senses is useless. How can you expect to fall asleep if the stereo is blasting, the lights are on, and the room is stuffy?
  4. Naps diminish your ability to sleep at night, and excessive daytime sleepiness may suggest a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

How much sleep is required to minimise bad effects?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need more sleep than those under the age of 18, although even among teenagers, demands might vary. For various age groups, the Centers for Disease Control offer the following general sleep recommendations:

  • Newborn (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
  • Infant (4–12 months): 12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Toddler (1–2 years): 11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Preschool (3–5 years): 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
  • Primary school (6–12 years): 9–12 hours per 24 hours
  • Teen (13–18 years): 8–10 hours per 24 hours
  • 18–60 years: 7 or more hours per day
  • 61–64 years: 7–9 hours
  • 65 years and older: 7–8 hours

Theme for World Sleep Day 2023

The theme for this year's Sleep Day is 'Sleep is Essential for Health'. The World Sleep Association states that the theme attempts to emphasise the fact that, just as a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential for overall health, a good night's sleep provides a foundation for one's physical, mental, and social well-being.

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