World Sleep Day – March 18, 2011
Do you take sleep for granted? Whether you find yourself to be a healthy person with healthy sleep habits, there’s always something we could afford to improve to promote better sleep. That’s why people will be practicing healthy sleep habits, like going to bed at a “decent” enough hour (usually allowing eight hours), or avoiding things like their morning coffee or mid day caffeine this Friday. It may seem like common sense or even simple, but for some it’s a real challenge. If you’re the type that isn’t finding your eight hours and depends on that morning coffee or that mid day nap to help get through your day, then you need this day! Your sleep is vital to your quality of life and that’s a real reason to celebration World Sleep Day.
There isn’t a super human being that can go on little or no sleep for a long period of time without consequences. Adults and children alike both need sleep to function and live a healthy life. But for children, video games, online chatting or junk food might seem more important than the act of sleeping. It’s up to parents to understand and implement healthy habits that improve their child’s sleep quality. That’s why the World Sleep Day’s educational campaign is offering advice and guidance to parents in their journey to putting their kids on the right track to a good night’s sleep.
When children do not get enough sleep or the quality of their sleep is poor, it can impact their physical growth and mental development. According to the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), an estimated 25% of children around the globe are suffering from some form of sleep disturbance putting them at risk academically, developmentally and physically. In addition to contributing to obesity and impacting learning ability, lack of sleep can damage children’s immune systems and make them more susceptible to illness.
WASM’s 10 Commandments for Healthy Sleep in Children:
- Appropriate sleep and wake times
- Maintaining consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
- Encourage children to fall asleep independently.
- Avoid bright light at bedtime and while sleeping – increase light exposure in the morning and when it is time to wake-up.
- Keep electronics including computers, television and cell phones out of bedrooms.
- Maintain a consistent daily schedule including regular mealtimes.
- Make sure nap schedules are age appropriate.
- Ensure plenty of exercise and time outside during the day.
- Eliminate food and beverages containing caffeine.
As part of the World Sleep Day events, the WASM encourages people to embrace these commandments for the children in their lives and spread the word about the need to consistently follow good sleep practices to their families and neighbors.
Most World Sleep Day activities will occur online, including video presentations from around the world on relevant sleep topics like sleep health and drowsy driving. For more information on World Sleep Day or the World Association of Sleep Medicine, visit the worldsleepday.org website.