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Sleep Well, Stay Healthy: Good Quality and Restorative Sleep Are Essential for Better Mental and Physical Health

ROCHESTER, Minn., March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "A good night's sleep" has long been the intention of millions of people suffering from sleep disorders around the world.  However, this objective is scarcely met with ease.  The reality of this scenario is that many will not seek the professional help to address the serious sleep disorders that plague them, resulting in numerous health consequences.  The World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) will be holding the third annual World Sleep Day on Friday, March 19, 2010.  The event is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee and is regarded as a platform for medical professionals to deliver the message of the importance of healthy sleep to the public.

Sleep is a function in which all vertebrates and some invertebrates participate, however the physiological purpose of sleep has yet to be discovered.  While sleep is necessary to be alert to optimally navigate daily tasks, research shows sleep may also be a factor in growth, regeneration, and memory.  With an estimated one third of adults suffering from clinically recognizable insomnia and approximately 80 additional sleep-related disorders, there is significant concern for the health consequences that occur with the lack of quality sleep.  Studies suggest that a lack of sleep is detrimental to health in ways such as the development of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and other chronic ailments in those who consume less than 6 hours nightly.  

The 10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene listed below make common sense recommendations that are rarely complied with fully.

  1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
  2. If you are in the habit of taking siestas do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
  3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
  4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
  5. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
  6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
  7. Use comfortable bedding.
  8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
  9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
  10. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don't use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.

(For more information visit which offers translations in various languages).

Violation of these commandments causes poor quality of nocturnal sleep, short duration of sleep, fragmentation of sleep and serious sleep deprivation.  These infringements may lead to poor alertness, lack of attention, reduced concentration, decreased work and academic productivity, and even motor vehicle accidents.  Physical health problems come next.

It is due to the widespread effects of sleep disorders and increasing number of sufferers worldwide, that World Sleep Day dedicates its efforts in 2010 to educate the world on important sleep topics.  The day's events will take place online, featuring the organization of local groups promoting sleep health, presentation of educational materials, an award presentation to the best creation and exhibition of historic videos.

The third World Sleep Day is co-chaired by Antonio Culebras, MD, professor of neurology at SUNY, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, and Liborio Parrino, MD, of Parma, Italy, and WASM's Executive Director Allan O'Bryan.

World Sleep Day 2010 partners are pharmaceutical companies H. Lundbeck A/S and UCB.  More information regarding partners and affiliates may be obtained at

SOURCE World Association of Sleep Medicine

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SOURCE World Association of Sleep Medicine
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