World sleep day focuses on maintaining the body’s natural circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour rhythms that control many aspects of our behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Maintaining stable circadian rhythms is vital to good health. If we continually disrupt our rhythms, we increase the risk of sleep disorders, mental health disorders and chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and even some cancers.
The best way to manage your body clock is by keeping a regular schedule. We should try to sleep and wake at the same time each day. Exposure to a regular light-dark cycle – bright days and dark nights – is vital in helping to maintain a regular cycle. Try and get as much daylight exposure in the daytime but then sleep in as dark a room as possible, or use an eye mask, to create a large day-night contrast.
Sound sleep is one of the three pillars of good health along with a balanced diet and regular exercise. World Sleep Day is an annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep. It aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorder.