At DELICIOUS project we promote healthy habits and routines from the Mediterranean diet perspective. And, of course, sleeping well is a healthy and necessary habit for everyone, younger or older. Around mid-march, the World Sleep Day is celebrated yearly, a date to raise awareness on the fact that a good sleeping routine is not only desirable, but key for our health. It is promoted by the World Sleep Society and this year’s moto is Sleep is Essential for Health.
The moto has been selected specifically because there are habits like nutrition or physical activity that we have integrated already as healthy and necessary, but sometimes good sleep is not among them. “People should think about sleep like they do other important healthy behaviours such as exercise – as something to reflect upon, when appropriate, improve so that one can feel better and remain healthy over time”, says Lourdes DelRosso, co-chair of the World Sleep Society.
This relevant day has been celebrated since 2008 and promoted by the WSS, a non-profit organisation that has the goal of advancing sleep health worldwide. Each year, this organisation focuses on a specific area of sleep and these are the key messages for this year.
Key Message 1: Healthy sleep is more than simple duration.
There are three elements to have a good quality sleep: duration, continuity and depth. Basically, the sleeping session should have a length that allows the sleeper to be rested for the following day, should be deep and not fragmented in time.
Key Message 2: Sleep is a pillar of human health.
Health, according to the World Sleep Society, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Research shows that good quality sleep is key to have a good health in terms of physical and mental health, as well as to feel good in our everyday life.
Sleeping well helps:
- Memory, learning and brain health
- The immune system
- Maintaining our body and energy levels
On the other hand, poor sleeping habits can be linked with several health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases or greater susceptibility to infections, among may others. The World Health Association also recommends good sleeping habits for children, adolescents and adults of all ages to promote good development among the youngest and for a good health and well-being among everyone.