Article image

World Sleep Day 2024: The quest for a well-rested society 

With the demands of daily life increasingly encroaching on our peace and quiet, the significance of sleep cannot be overstated. This is the central message of World Sleep Day, an annual event dedicated to raising public awareness about the critical importance of sleep. 

The journey of World Sleep Day

Since its inception in 2008, World Sleep Day not only celebrates rest but also aims to provide education to individuals with sleep disorders

Marked on the Friday before the Spring Equinox, World Sleep Day has grown in both scope and reach. Last year, there were 155 events held across more than 70 countries.

This day is more than just a call to action; it is a global congregation that brings together individuals from varied backgrounds to share, learn, and support each other in the quest for better sleep. 

The reality of sleep disorders

The American Sleep Association reports that 50 to 70 million people suffer from a sleep disorder, over 25 million have sleep apnea, and countless more struggle with insomnia. These numbers emphasize the widespread nature of sleep disorders and the effect they have on so many lives.

Origins of World Sleep Day 

World Sleep Day was set into motion by founders of the World Sleep Society, including Dr. Liborio Parrino and Dr. Antonio Culebras. Their vision was to unify individuals and healthcare providers in the battle against sleep disorders, offering solutions, prevention, and hope.

In partnership with news organizations across the globe, the World Sleep Society strives to keep the conversation about sleep vibrant and informative, ensuring that everyone, everywhere, knows where to find help.

2024: A call for sleep equity

The theme for World Sleep Day 2024, “Sleep Equity for Global Health,” highlights a critical aspect of sleep that often goes unnoticed – its inequality. Just as health disparities persist globally, so do disparities in sleep quality and duration. 

By focusing on sleep equity, the World Sleep Society aims to bridge these gaps, promoting sleep health as a cornerstone of overall well-being.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is crucial for various reasons, impacting nearly every type of tissue and system in the body. Given its wide-ranging benefits for both mental and physical health, prioritizing adequate sleep is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.

Brain function 

Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day by forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. 

Adequate sleep improves learning, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. It also helps regulate mood, making you better equipped to cope with stress and emotional challenges.

Physical health

Sleep plays a significant role in physical health, involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. It affects processes that maintain your heart health, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. 

Sleep also supports growth and stress hormones, boosts muscle mass, and helps repair cells and tissues in people of all ages.

Immune function

Adequate sleep is crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system. It enhances the body’s ability to fend off infections and illnesses, making you less susceptible to common viruses and more able to recover when you do get sick.

Weight management

Sleep affects the levels of hormones that control appetite. Lack of sleep is related to an increase in hunger and appetite and possibly to obesity. 

People who don’t get enough sleep may have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories, partly because sleep affects the levels of leptin and ghrelin, hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness.


Sleep deficiency increases the risk of accidents. Being sleepy can slow down reaction times as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,500 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.

Long-term health

Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.

Sleep also impacts mental health. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.

A united front for sleep health

World Sleep Day is not just a day; it’s a movement. By banding together, sleep health professionals and advocates amplify their message, ensuring that it reaches every corner of the globe. Together, we can elevate the conversation around sleep, making it a priority for all.

As we commemorate World Sleep Day, let’s remember that sleep is not a luxury but a necessity. It is time to prioritize our sleep health, advocate for sleep equity, and support the global quest for a well-rested world.


Like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter for engaging articles, exclusive content, and the latest updates.

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and


News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day