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World Sleep Day

To celebrate healthy sleep and help others learn about sleep’s vast importance, World Sleep Society hosts an annual awareness day in March, World Sleep Day.

World Sleep Day is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year. This year it will be 15 March 2024.

The theme for this World Sleep Day 2024 is Sleep Equity for Global Health. Sleep is essential to health, but measurable differences in sleep health persist across populations across the world, creating additional burdens and reinforcing health inequities.

World Sleep Day is an opportunity to promote sleep health alongside thousands of other sleep health professionals and advocates. When we all promote sleep health and #WorldSleepDay together, our combined effort is greater than the sum of its parts. Spread the word about sleep health on World Sleep Day, and help elevate the conversation around sleep! Access to sufficient sleep is vital for overall health and well-being. It should be available to everyone, irrespective of their location, socioeconomic status, environmental factors, social structures, personal beliefs, or other individual circumstances.

The consequences of global sleep health disparities are significant, causing unnecessary harm to individuals and families and perpetuating the marginalisation of certain populations. By addressing sleep equity, we can reduce these disparities and make a meaningful impact on global health and wellness.

World Sleep Day 2024 honours the importance of healthy sleep and highlights its transformative potential in people's lives.

How much sleep do we really need?

If you are a teenager or young adult you may be surprised. It is recommended that teenagers (14-17) sleep between 8-10 hours, however it may be appropriate for them to sleep as much as 11 hours. Young adults (18-25) are recommended to sleep 7-9 hours however, it also may be appropriate for this age group to sleep 11 hours. Older adults (26-64) are also recommended to sleep 7-9 hours, however it may be appropriate for this group to sleep 10 hours.

If you are not waking up refreshed or regularly feel tired and sleepy during the day (or when you should be awake and alert) it is helpful to see how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Try sleeping an extra hour or more each night for at least two weeks. If you do not feel any better see your doctor as soon as possible. Information about your day to day activities including sleep habits can help your doctor identify the underlying cause/s. The National Sleep Foundation (USA) has a great sleep diary you can use to track your sleep and daily activities. Click here to check it out. 

How can applying healthy sleep practices improve your quality of life? Sleep hygiene (also known as ‘healthy sleep practices’) describes a range of behaviours, lifestyle and environmental factors that can improve sleep. Sleep hygiene is useful in improving sleep quantity and quality for healthy individuals across all ages and can be used as part of management plans for some sleep disorders. Click here to learn more.

And check out Dr Gabrielle Rigney's presentation at our Sleep Health & Wellbeing Expo How to optimise your sleep through simple (but powerful) lifestyle changes

We have a range of informative videos on topics including Sleep Apnea and Diabetes, Understanding Teen Sleep, Alternatives to CPAP, Autism and Sleep, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) and more! You can check them out on our website and YouTube channel. We also have a variety of Factsheets. Click the title below to open the selected Fact Sheet in full.

As we grow older, sleep becomes lighter and more interrupted, and other factors may impact on our ability to get that "good" night's sleep. There are things you can do to improve this situation.​

You don't often think of children snoring or suffering from sleep apnea, but surprisingly a number do. The condition can be serious and may lead to health problems such as failure to thrive, developmental delay or behavioural problems.​

If you suffer from sleep apnea, if used regularly CPAP is the most successful treatment. Includes information about CPAP care and maintenance and travelling with your CPAP.​

People who suffer from this disorder are unable to get their sleep pattern into line with normal hours, and even if they do, they cannot maintain the pattern. This can be a significant problem to the person suffering from DSPS, often leading to insomnia and depression. 

Drowsy Driving Have you ever been driving and suddenly found your eyelids droop, you can't stop yawning or you can't remember driving the last few kilometres? If so you have been a "drowsy driver" and you're not alone!

Do you feel tired no matter how much sleep you get? Daytime sleepiness has a significant impact on quality of life. People with daytime sleepiness struggle with social, academic and work demands, they are at risk of motor vehicle and workplace accidents and generally have poorer health than comparable adults.​

Sometimes referred to as Idiopathic Hypersomnolence (IH). This is a debilitating neurological sleep/wake disorder characterised by excessive sleep, chronic daytime sleepiness and cognitive dysfunction. There is no known cause the symptoms of IH. Information kindly provided by Hypersomnolence Australia -

Most people experience difficulty sleeping (insomnia) at some time. However chronic insomnia can have serious consequences. For both the community and the sufferer, it is an issue that should not be ignored.​

Narcolepsy is a chronic and incurable neurological disorder that impairs the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. ​

Oral appliances are indicated for those with mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea OSA. They may be also used in people with severe OSA who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine.​

If your limbs move involuntarily during sleep (perhaps your bed partner complains of being kicked) you may have PLMD.

If you suffer from unpleasant creeping sensations that results in the compelling urge to move the affected limbs you may have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

Also, check out our "Resouces for RLS Sufferers"

The body has a natural rhythm which helps you sleep at night and stay alert during the day. When you work shift work you must struggle against this. Long shifts or insufficient daytime sleep lead to tiredness and accidents.​

Apnea means absence of breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway collapses during sleep. Everyone experiences a small amount of disruption to breathing during sleep but someone with severe sleep apnea may have over 30-40 of these events per hour, disrupting their sleep and starving the body of vital oxygen. 

There is no obstruction in the airway in central sleep apnea. CSA is rare and results when the signals from the brain to regulate breathing are disrupted. 

Sleep deprivation, whether reduced quantity or disturbed quality, may be a contributing factor in other diseases, such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity and Nocturia.​

What is Sleep Hygiene and why does it matter? Sleep hygiene (also known as ‘healthy sleep practices’) describes a range of behaviours, lifestyle and environmental factors that can improve sleep. Sleep hygiene is useful in improving sleep quantity and quality for healthy individuals across all ages and can be used as part of management plans for some sleep disorders. 

The best way to diagnose many sleep disorders is with a Sleep Study or Polysomnogram conducted at a specialist Sleep Disorders Laboratory. This fact sheet tells you what to expect from this study. About 65 000 sleep studies are conducted each year in Australia.​

Snoring occurs when air does not flow smoothly through the air passages, or when the soft tissues in your throat vibrate during sleep. Snoring can occur in all age groups, but the largest affected group is the middle aged. Snoring may be associated with long term health problems such as an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.​

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserv These Fact Sheets have been prepared to give you an overview of the symptoms, causes and treatments of a variety of sleep disorders. The information in each Fact Sheet is general in content and should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice. Concerns over sleep or other medical conditions should be discussed with your family doctor. SDA Fact Sheets are copyright and may not be reproduced or used in any other way without the permission of Sleep Disorders Australia.

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