“Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream” is the slogan for World Sleep Day 2016 taking place worldwide on March 18th, 2016.

Welcome to WSD 2016. The slogan for 2016 expresses a desire that comes true for only 1/3 of the world population. Sound sleep is a treasured function and one of the pillars of health, along with a balanced diet and adequate exercise. When sleep fails, health declines. Poor sleep and bad health decrease the quality of life and take happiness away.

World Sleep Day is an annual event sponsored by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, to raise awareness of sleep disorders and highlight the burden that they place on society. World Sleep Day 2016 will be held on Friday, March 18th, 2016. Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help. Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population. Better understanding of sleep conditions and more research into this area of medicine will help reduce the burden of sleep disorders on society.

The three elements of good quality sleep are:
a. Duration- The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
b. Continuity- Sleep cycles should be seamless without interruption.
c. Depth- Sleep should be deep enough or sufficiently sound to be restorative and refreshing.

World Sleep Day 2016 offers a world stage to interested parties to join forces and reach their audiences. Sleep centers around the world are invited to teach their constituents that sleep hygiene is the science conducive to the preservation of high quality, sound and sufficient sleep. The World Association of Sleep Medicine has issued rules of hygiene that are contained in the 10 Commandments of Sleep. These rules aim to maintain or restore natural, refreshing and healthy sound sleep. Environmental conditions, such as temperature, noise, light, bed comfort, and electronic devices may modify sleep and thus play a significant role in the ability to get proper sleep—and, subsequently, in overall sleep-related wellness.

Sleep centers are also invited to tell the public that breathing regularly during sleep is critical to well-being and health. Frequent interruption of the breathing function during sleep is a pervasive and common disorder called sleep apnea, that affects 17 % of men and 9 % of women in middle and old age. Sleep centers offer diagnostic procedures and provide recommendations to control sleep apnea.

Sound sleep facilitates the preservation of mental health. Sleep disturbances are a risk factor for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. In turn, control of these disorders improves the quality of sleep.

Failure to obtain quality sleep may lead to poor alertness, lack of attention, reduced concentration, and decreased academic productivity, while increasing the risk of motor vehicle accidents.

Thus, we return to the original slogan ” Good sleep is a reachable dream.”

I encourage you to join World Sleep Day 2016 and contribute to improve and facilitate health and happiness around the world.

Antonio Culebras, Co-chair WSD2016
Liborio Parrino, Co-chair WSD2016