As we quickly approach World Sleep Day 2020, which falls on 13th March, it is a sad fact that, according to recent studies, as many as 35% of people surveyed do not get enough sleep at night. World Sleep Day aims to educate people about the importance of getting healthy sleep, as well as bringing cognisance to a lot of the burdens we experience because of sleep problems. Here at Good Sleep Advisor, we provide plenty of tips and advice on how to get a good night’s sleep, but do you know how important getting not only the right amount of sleep but also the right quality of sleep could be?

Getting the right amount of sleep

Did you know that it is recommended that adults between the ages of 18-65 should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep a day? (more information on this can be found in our blog post “How much sleep do I need?”) However, for many adults, this simply does not happen. 6.8 hours is the average for a weeknight and 7.8 is the weekend average when it comes to sleep. This simply isn’t adequate. World Sleep Day will look at just how critical sleep is as a pillar of our health. 

‘Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet’ is the slogan for this year’s event, and that’s what the main focus will be about: how we can enrich our lives with proper sleeping patterns. The aim is to educate the population on how to get the required number of hours of sleep but how to ensure it is of great quality, and then what benefits this will bring. 

You may already know about the detrimental impact of a lack of sleep. But, rather than simply focusing on the negative, what about the positives that having a good night’s sleep can bring? World Sleep Day will look at how healthy sleep enables better decision making and improved cognitive understanding, even when it comes to bigger issues that concern our planet. If you learn all about what healthy sleep can bring, and how to achieve this, it could have a rather profound effect on the rest of your life.

What impact does a lack of sleep have on health?

In the short term, a lack of sleep can make you sluggish and irritable. It can also dull your concentration and therefore, your reaction times. However, the longer-term effects are much more serious, and sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep have been linked to a number of significant health issues, including obesity, a weakened immune system, diabetes and, in some cases, certain cancers. When this poor sleep pattern continues over a longer period for whatever reason, it can really have an impact on your health. One of the biggest messages behind World Sleep Day relates to this – a staggering 45% of the world’s population have sleep problems that threaten both their quality of life and health

What can I do to improve my sleep?

There could be many reasons that you may be struggling to get the right quality of sleep. 

It may well be worth looking at not only the environment you’re sleeping in, but also whether your pillow, duvet or mattress need replacing. Good sleep hygiene is also essential to getting good quality sleep. However, this doesn’t always help, especially if there is an underlying condition that is affecting your ability to sleep well. 

Whether you are simply struggling to get to sleep because of stress or have a condition such as sleep apnea that is causing your sleep issues, if improving your sleep hygiene at home isn’t helping, it is important to discuss it with your GP. There are many different treatments and tips to help you sleep better, which could benefit areas of your life you didn’t even know were suffering from your lack of good sleep.