Talking Points

The following key messages are designed to give a template to work from and can be adapted to suit the media environment and focus within your countries. The key messages should be used as talking points to guide a consistent message with others around the world.

2019 World Sleep Day

  • World Sleep Day will be March 15, 2019. The slogan will be announced in January 2019.

[More details on 2019 will become available after January 1]

General FACTS

  • World Sleep Day is an annual event to raise awareness of sleep disorders and the burden that they place on society. World Sleep Day 2019 will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019.
  • Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help.4
  • Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population.3
  • Better understanding of sleep conditions and more research into the area will help reduce the burden of sleep disorders on society.
  • Three elements of good quality sleep are:
    • Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
    • Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
    • Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.

 

TALKING POINTS

Primary:

  • Research shows that we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is a basic human need, much like eating and drinking, and is crucial to our overall health and well-being.
  • Sleep, like exercise and nutrition, is essential for metabolic regulation in children. There is evidence for a link between sleep duration and childhood obesity. The findings are more apparent in girls. Sleep duration is the effect of day-to-day variability of sleep-wake timing on weight regulation. 19,20
  • Breathing regularly during sleep is critical to maintain well-being and health. Persistent interruption of the breathing function during sleep is called sleep apnea. This is a pervasive and common disorder that affects 4% of men and 2% of women.22
  • Sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and may lead to conditions such as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke 27, and diabetes.
  • Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our health in the long and short term. Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning.5 Longer term effects are being studied, but poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancers.6,7,8
  • Lack of sleep is related to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.9,10
  • Quality sleep is crucial to ensure good health and quality of life.

Importance of Sound, Restorative Sleep:

  • Good quality and restorative sleep is essential for day-to-day functioning. Studies suggest that sleep quality rather than quantity has a greater impact on quality of life and daytime functioning.12
  • Healthy sleep in children will improve the child’s overall wellness and development. WORLD SLEEP SOCIETY has created the 10 commandments of Healthy Sleep for Children, available at www.worldsleepday.org.
  • Poor quality sleep has a greater negative impact on health, well-being and satisfaction with life than the quantity of sleep a person gets.9,13
  • Quality sleep is responsible for alertness, improved functioning the following day and better quality of life.

Consequences of Sleep Disorders

  • Sleep disorders cause significant individual and societal burden and form a serious public health problem.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea significantly impacts health and well-being. The drop in oxygen that occurs when breathing stops due to OSA puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions.
  • Directly or indirectly, disrupted sleep can have a negative effect on family life and relationships by affecting a person’s mood and the way in which they are able to perform daily activities and interact socially.13

Extent of the Epidemic

  • 35% of people do not feel they get enough sleep, impacting both their physical and mental health.21
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects approximately 4% of the adult population. 21 If not properly managed, OSA can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome is a common disorder and occurs in between 3-10% of the population, although the number of people affected and the severity of the condition differs between countries.
  • People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. OSA is caused by a blockage of the upper airway. The collapse of the airway may be due to factors such as a large tongue, extra tissue or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open.
  • Each breathing pause can last from 10 seconds to more than a minute and is accompanied by a drop in oxygen associated with each event. The events may occur 5 to 50 times or more each hour. This puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, NIH, 2009).

Known Consequences: Some Statistics

  • A US study has estimated the annual costs of insomnia to be between $92.5 billion and $107.5 billion.17
  • 71,000 people suffer injuries every year due to sleep-related accidents.16
  • 1,550 people die because of sleep-related accidents.16
  • 46% of individuals with frequent sleep disturbances report missing work or events, or making errors at work, compared to 15% of healthy sleepers.18

The importance of circadian rhythms in healthy sleep

  • Circadian rhythms refer to a cycle within the body. Natural factors from within the body produce circadian rhythms, but environmental factors such as sunlight also affect them.
  • Preserving regular Circadian rhythms have been found to lower the risk of sleep disorders, mental health disorders and chronic health issues such as obesity and diabetes.
  • Sound sleep is one of the three pillars of good health along with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  • Individuals who get an entire night’s sleep without any interruptions experience lower rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses.

Specific Sleep Disorders:

Insomnia

  • Insomnia affects between 30-45% of the adult population.3
  • Primary insomnia (insomnia with no underlying condition) affects 1-10% of the general population, increasing up to 25% in the elderly.3
  • Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep also leaves us more vulnerable to accidents. People who suffer insomnia are seven times more likely to become involved in an accident causing death or serious injury than good sleepers.11
  • Studies have shown that people with insomnia suffer from more symptoms of anxiety and depression than people without insomnia.9
  • Insomnia has a negative impact in all areas of a sufferer’s life.
  • Insomnia can affect work performance, with a change in character and a drop in the quality of work. If the disorder remains untreated, this may even lead to reduced job prospects and loss of employment.13

Sleep Breathing Problems

Obstructive sleep apnea is very prevalent, yet under recognized. The Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study estimated a prevalence of 17% among men and 9% among women in that state in the United States. In northern India, the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is 13.7%. OSA is an independent risk factor for hypertension and other cardiovascular ailments. In children, sleep apnea may be the underlying cause of neuropsychological disturbances. Pediatric sleep apnea is typically associated with adenotonsillar hypertrophy.

Untreated sleep apnea may lead to heart diseases, stroke, and vascular dementia. Both adults and children should be formally investigated in sleep centers if sleep apnea is suspected, because both adult and pediatric sleep apnea is treatable and correctable; a correct and precise diagnosis is always required. 26

Sleep apnea is diagnosed with polysomnography in the sleep laboratory. Treatment with non-invasive positive airway (continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP) ventilation is generally successful. For mild forms of sleep apnea, the application of oral devices can be beneficial. Surgery to remove excessive tissues in the oropharynx may be considered for individuals who cannot tolerate non-invasive equipment or who have obvious obstruction to airflow in the oropharynx by redundant tissue growth or large tonsils. There is proof that successful correction of sleep apnea with non-invasive positive airway pressure ventilation lowers mean blood pressure and may reduce the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. Excessive daytime somnolence generally improves with successful treatment of sleep apnea.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

  • Join World Sleep Day as a delegate or supporter.
  • Obtain more information at www.worldsleepday.org.
  • Be cognizant that most sleep problems can be managed by changing behaviors around sleep, medical therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Be aware that patients suffering from sleep complaints, or who suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, should see a physician and, if needed, obtain a consultation in a sleep center.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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  2. Ohayon MM, Zulley J. Correlates of global sleep dissatisfaction in the German population. Sleep 2001; 24: 780-787
  3. Wade AG, Zisapel N, Lemoine P. Prolonged-release melatonin for the treatment of insomnia: targeting quality of sleep and morning alertness. Ageing Health 2008; 4 (1): 11-12
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  6. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D et al. Short sleep duration is associated with elevated ghrelin, reduced leptin and increased body mass index. PLoS Med 2004; 1(3): e62
  7. Gottlieb DJ, Punjabi NM, Newman AB et al. Association of sleep time with diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance. Arch Intern Med 2005; 165(8): 863-7
  8. Gumustekin K, Seven B, Karabulut N et al. Effects of sleep deprivation, nicotine and selenium on wound healing in rats. Neurosci 2004; 114: 1433-1442
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  14. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA. Driver Fatigue and Road Accident: A literature review and position paper. February 2001
  15. Think! Tiredness can kill- advice for drivers. INF159 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  16. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) www.nhtsa.dot.gov

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18. National Sleep Foundation www.sleepfoundation.org
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