World Sleep Day is held on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox each year, so for 2022 it is celebrated on Friday 18 March. Hosted by the World Sleep Society (WSS), which is a non-profit from the United States, World Sleep Day is an annual awareness event.
The theme for this year is “Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World” which focuses on the discussion of how quality sleep can help to maintain mental health. Healthy sleep is sleep that restores and energises a person so that they feel wide-awake, dynamic, and energetic all day long.
Here are some expert tips…
Find time to relax
Take a warm bath or shower, as it will help your body reach an ideal temperature for sleep. Studies show that taking a warm bath 90 minutes before bed doesn’t just improve sleep quality, it also allows for a much deeper sleep. This time of the day needs to be about winding down. Doing a guided meditation, or breathwork can be all you need to relax your mind before you attempt to sleep. Reading a book is also a calming option that can help you get into that sleep mode.
Avoid caffeine too late in the day
Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day. Drinking coffee after 3 pm isn’t recommended as it will most likely disrupt your sleep. Even small amounts found in chocolate or painkillers can be enough to have an effect. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulator, and reduces total sleep time and sleep efficiency. It also worsens perceived sleep quality.
Cut down on technology
Powering down and avoiding technology for an hour or so before bed is beneficial for a good night’s rest. Smartphones, computers, and TVs all emit a blue light, which has a negative effect on sleep quality. Exposure to this blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that induces sleepiness. During the day this can be an advantage to keep you alert, but at night it can have a serious impact on your sleep.
Physical exercise during the day is an effective approach to make you drift off quicker, and have better quality sleep. Relaxation exercises such as yoga are known to relax muscles and have a calming effect. Going for a walk is one of the best forms of exercise that can benefit your sleep, as it will increase your exposure to natural light. This bright, natural light during the day will help you keep your circadian rhythm healthy – which in turn will also have a positive effect on your mental health.
Regular sleep patterns
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is at least seven hours a night. If you can stick to going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, the consistency reinforces your body’s sleep cycle. Regularity is important for stabilising your internal biological clock, allowing you to fall asleep and maintain uninterrupted sleep.