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World Sleep Day and National Sleep Awareness Week

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 by Chris Hocking

March is a big month for catching up on your sleep! Two major events are taking place in the next few weeks.

National Sleep Awareness Week is happening from March 2 to 9 in the United States, while World Sleep Day is a global event happening on 14 March.

National Sleep Awareness Week and drowsy driving risks

The United States' National Sleep Awareness Week is happening from March 2 to 9. The campaign is designed to celebrate the health benefits of good sleep and to raise awareness of sleep-related injuries and health risks.

The week begins with the release of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America ® poll, and ends with the American return to Daylight Saving time.

The National Sleep Foundation's mission is to improve health, safety, and well-being through sleep awareness and education, and to encourage individuals to seek help and not be afraid to speak up.

The foundation has found that many Americans freely admit they drive when they are sleepy, so this week is dedicated to raising awareness of the potential safety dangers associated with drowsy driving, as well as sharing advice and tips for better sleep.

World Sleep Day

World Sleep Day was inaugurated in 2008 and aims to celebrate the health benefits of sleep and raise awareness on significant sleep-related issues like fatigue and drowsiness. This year, we're celebrating World Sleep Day on Friday 14 March.

2014's World Sleep Day slogan combines the three fundamental elements of good sleep and what good sleep can achieve.

Each component of the Easy Breathing, Restful Sleep, Healthy Body slogan works in conjunction with the other: deep, restorative sleep means you're breathing easy at night, while a healthy body is not only the result of good sleep, it's also a determinant. A healthy body is the basis of recuperative sleep.

World Sleep Day is organised by the World Association of Sleep Medicine.

How's your bedroom?

Your room should be dark, quiet, and free from electronic devices like television and mobile phones. In today's technology-absorbed world, that may sound impossible, but try leaving your phone in another room for just one night, and see if it makes a difference!

When you're falling asleep, your body temperature dips slightly. If you're trying to sleep in a room that's too hot or too cold, your body struggles to achieve this set point. Try lowering the heater or air conditioning by just a few degrees tonight.

Drowsy driving facts

Both lack of sleep and poor sleep can have incredibly detrimental effects on your health and safety.

  • Driving while drowsy, fatigued, or sleep deprived means you're less focused and are more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
  • The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates drowsy driving causes around 100,000 car crashes per year, and 1550 deaths.
  • 17 hours of sleep deprivation has the same effect on driving performance as a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.05%, the legal limit in many countries including Australia, France, Hong Kong, and Peru.

Drowsy driving and driver fatigue

Optalert is passionate about raising awareness regarding the very real risks of fatigued or drowsy driving. Our next generation technology detects the warning signs of very early onset drowsiness or driver fatigue, and provides real time feedback that saves lives.

To keep up with both these events, check out Optalert, the World Association of Sleep Medicine, and the National Sleep Foundation on Facebook.

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