This week we will be celebrating World Sleep Day on 19th March, this year’s theme focuses on the benefits of regular sleep for a healthy future. It provides a great opportunity for sleep and healthcare professionals to raise awareness and educate the world about ‘the importance of sleep for achieving an optimal quality of life and improve global health’ (World Sleep Day, 2021). Studies have identified that consistent bed and rise times are associated with better sleep quality in all age groups, from the young through to the elderly. Dr. Lourdes DelRosso, co-chair of the World Sleep Day 2021 Committee, highlights research demonstrating that regular sleepers tend to display an improved mood along with better academic and psychomotor performance, such as memory consolidation. Whereas a reduction in sleep affects many physiological factors and is often associated with significant adverse health outcomes, such as hormone and cardiovascular regulation and the control of inflammation. Impairments in cognitive and executive function have also been identified with poor sleep, with a direct affect on mental health.
A recent study carried out by Yonsei University College of Medicine investigated sleep misperction in adults, and the subsequent affect on psychosocial factors, for example stress and depression. The study involved 47 participants wearing the GENEActiv on their non-dominant wrist for 7 consecutive days to objectively measure sleep. The outcome of the study showed that psychosocial factors were related to individuals both over and under-estimating their quantity of sleep regularly in both sexes in a nonclinical, middle-aged cohort study population. It also found that maintaining regular sleep is also reflected in good social relationships.
There have also been various studies around light effects on human circadian rhythms, a study by University of Basel looked into how light effects human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. The study analyses how light intake throughout the day is a fundamental factor in having a good sleep. By breaking down different types of artificial and blue light, the effect these light wavelengths have on melanopsin and the subsequent physiological responses can be investigated. For example, the suppression of melatonin production, increased alertness, and alterations to the circadian rhythm. The study concluded that light at the ‘wrong time’ does disrupt circadian rhythms and sleep. This directly relates to tips the World Sleep Society suggest for regular sleep, including trying to eliminate as much light as possible before sleeping.
Both studies highlight how regular sleep can effect daily lifestyle and is associated with positive health outcomes. The GENEActiv continues to be used in numerous sleep studies and shows how non-invasive, objective sleep measurement can be useful in improving better sleep care for patients, as well as supporting healthy lifestyles and free-living sleep diagnostics.
As we approach World Sleep Day, we increasingly understand the importance of a healthy sleep pattern for a healthy future. World Sleep Day have set out recommendations in helping us all achieve an improved sleep. Top tips include the importance of diet and physical activity, as well as creating a comfortable environment. Research studies worldwide are continuing to demonstrate that that a good regular sleep is directly associated with improved long-term health outcomes for both the body and mind.
For more information about sleep measurement services please contact us.