World Sleep Day 2023: History, significance, and theme

World Sleep Day 2023: History, significance, and theme

World Sleep Day is a yearly occasion that celebrates the joys of restful slumber while also raising awareness about the pressing issues surrounding sleep, such as healthcare, education, social factors, and safe driving. The World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society oversees the event, which seeks to alleviate the societal impact of sleep disorders through improved prevention and management methods. This momentous occasion is observed on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox each year, with this year’s date being March 17th, 2023, and next year's being March 15th, 2024. The theme for World Sleep Day 2023 is: Sleep is essential for good health. 

History and Significance of World Sleep Day

The annual campaign was initiated by a collective of devoted healthcare professionals and members of the medical community who specialize in the field of sleep medicine and research. Their inaugural objective was to gather sleep healthcare providers from all corners of the globe to disseminate and discuss sleep-related information. The co-founders of the initial World Sleep Day were Liborio Parrino, MD, an Associate Professor of Neurology at Parma University in Italy, and Antonio Culebras, MD, a Professor of Neurology at Upstate Medical University and Consultant at The Sleep Center in Community General Hospital, Syracuse, New York, USA.

Repeatedly, sleep medicine experts and researchers encountered the notion that sleep was not significant enough to prioritize personal health and well-being. In conjunction with the relentless flow of a 24/7 society, the organizers of this awareness campaign aimed to honor the importance of sound slumber.

The nonprofit organization, World Sleep Society (WSS), based in the United States and comprised of members representing over 80 countries globally, hosts World Sleep Day. The organization's bylaws dictate that it does not support, recommend, or endorse any products or services. While the awareness event does welcome corporate sponsorships to defray the cost of hosting the occasion, World Sleep Society, the World Sleep Day Committee, or any individuals associated with World Sleep Society do not approve or advocate for commercial products, treatments, or companies.

The festivities and undertakings of World Sleep Day are free and accessible to the public. Companies that sponsor World Sleep Day provide World Sleep Society with funds to reimburse the expenses of the awareness day, including the costs of issuing press releases, hosting a website, and producing educational materials. Each year, only a small fraction of the cost of World Sleep Day is recovered via corporate sponsorships. For more information on regional or local sponsors and funds raised, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section.

“Our patients and people of all ages across the world can enhance their overall health and well-being by prioritizing sleep and embracing strategies to improve sleep and circadian health. The more our members, activity organizers and the media can share evidence-supported knowledge about sleep and circadian health, the better," 
Phyllis C. Zee, President of the World Sleep Society

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