This week is Sleep Awareness Week. An annual event of the National Sleep Foundation which runs from March 6th through March 13th, to raise awareness of the health benefits of sleep and its importance to safety and productivity. The annual event encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve their overall health and well-being.
Sleep plays an important role in your good health, and poor sleep or lack thereof can wreak havoc on your overall health. Getting enough sleep can protect both your mental and physical well-being and the quality of life and safety. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
“Sleep Awareness Week shines a light on the importance of sleep health,” says National Sleep Foundation chairman Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, in a release.
“We look forward to the public engaging with this year’s campaign.”
Sleep Awareness Week 2016 leads up to the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in the US, when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. The timing provides a great opportunity for the public to adjust their sleep routines and make healthy changes.
“Sleep is essential to a healthy, productive life,” says David Cloud, National Sleep Foundation CEO.
“NSF’s #7Days4BetterSleep will help the public prepare for the unavoidable change to their schedule with seven daily tips to improve sleep. Everyone should take our Sleep Awareness Week pledge to prioritize sleep in their daily lives.”
The last few years has seen an explosion of interest in gadgets and software designed to measure and evaluate our sleeping habits. Today, there are a number of health and fitness wearables and gadgets that provide advanced sleep monitoring. We have written extensively in the past on the benefits of sleep tracking.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers for advanced sleep monitoring
In our overview of the best fitness trackers, we have named Jawbone’s UP3 device as the best activity tracker for monitoring sleep. The tracker provides information on time of nodding and waking, light, deep and REM sleep stages, and it has the ability to automatically recognise when you fall asleep. Its app also offers advice on how to get a better night’s sleep, and there’s a vibrating alarm to wake you up in the morning.
Jawbone occasionally peaks into data provided by its user community to provide us with interesting insights. The company has, for example, found that there is an unexpected difference in sleep patterns between men and women. Apparently, women sleep more than men. A lot more. 20 minutes more. Every day. When you multiply that by 365, it works out to women sleeping an additional 5 full days per year! This happens across all age groups, and in just about every country. You can view full details of the study on this link.
One thing is clear. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. One way to ensure you are getting enough shut eye is by using a fitness tracker or gadget that monitors sleep.