The World Sleep Society hosts an international event known as World Sleep Day each year, with the goal of emphasizing the pertinent role of quality sleep in maintaining optimal health and well-being. It is traditionally observed on the Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox. This noteworthy day focuses on spreading information about sleep-related disorders and their prevention, in a bid to improve overall health and productivity.

Participants from across the globe use this platform to underscore the vital aspect of adequate sleep, engage in discussions about challenges associated with sleep disorders, and advocate for measures to ensure sound sleep.

History of World Sleep Day

The World Sleep Society’s World Sleep Day Committee annually hosts an event known as World Sleep Day. This event, which started in 2008, takes place the Friday prior to the March Equinox each year. The key objective of this initiative is not just to celebrate the advantages of safe and healthy sleep, but also to spread awareness about sleep disorders and the negative impact they have on our society. World Sleep Day aims to reduce societal difficulties related to sleep issues by promoting preventative measures and more effective management strategies for sleep disorders.

Professionals in the sleep field worldwide participate by organizing activities and events in over 72 countries, to educate the populace on good sleep habits and the relevance of diagnosing and managing sleep-related disorders, as well as their implication on both mental and physical well-being.

Throughout the years, various themes have been used for World Sleep Day, such as “Sleep Well, Stay Healthy” (2010), “Good Sleep, Healthy Aging” (2013), “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life” (2017), and “Sleep Is Essential for Health” (2023). Each theme focuses on individual aspects of sleep health.

The effectiveness of this international initiative is gauged by the awareness it raises annually. Global surveys are conducted to determine people’s level of understanding and knowledge regarding sleep health. Since its inception, World Sleep Day has succeeded in raising global consciousness about the importance of good sleep and sleep hygiene.

World Sleep Day Timeline

Invention of Artificial Light

Early man would use torches to provide light, allowing them to stay awake longer.

Hippocrates Studies Sleep

Medical pioneer Hippocrates (460-370 BC) began to study sleep, recognising its importance in relation to health and disease.

Galen's studies on sleep

Galen, a Greek physician, wrote about sleep in relation to the health of the body and mind.

Discovery of REM Sleep

Eugene Aserinsky, a graduate student in the physiology department of the University of Chicago, discovered Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

Inception of World Sleep Day

World Sleep Day was first organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).

Tenth World Sleep Day

The theme 'Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life' focused on sleep's integral role in nurturing physical and mental health.

Ideas to Celebrate World Sleep Day

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Sleep-In Morning

Give yourself the luxury of a sleep-in morning. Cancel all meetings and alarms. Let your body rest and wake up naturally.

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Bedroom Makeover

Invest time in creating the best environment for your sleep by cleaning and rearranging your bedroom. Fresh linens, soothing colors, and soft lighting can greatly improve your sleep quality.

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Nighttime Wellness Routine

Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine that includes activities like reading, yoga, or a warm bath. This can signal your body that it's time to wind down and go to sleep.

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Sleep education session

Organize a gathering or webinar where a health professional discusses the importance of sleep, tips for good sleep hygiene, and how sleep affects overall health and wellness.

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Sleep-Aid Product Sampling

Experiment with different sleep aid products such as sleep masks, special pillows, white noise machines, or essential oils. Choose what suits your needs the best.

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Sleep Documentary Screening

Watch documentaries or informative videos on sleep science and health. This will help you understand why good sleep is fundamental for our health.

6 Interesting Facts About Sleep


Two Sleeps

Before the invention of artificial light, humans used to have 'first sleep' and 'second sleep' with a period of wakefulness in-between.


Fear of Sleeping

There's a condition called Somniphobia, which is an intense fear of sleep or falling asleep. It often results from a fear of what happens when one loses consciousness.


Dreams & REM Sleep

The stage of sleep where we dream most vividly is called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this stage, our eyes move quickly in different directions.


Sleep Deprivation Effects

16 hours of wakefulness can lead to the same decrease in performance as a blood alcohol level of .05 percent (the legal limit is .08 percent).


Short Sleeper Syndrome

There's a rare genetic condition called DEC2 known as short sleeper syndrome. Individuals with this mutation require less sleep than average.


Sleep in Space

Sleeping in space is a bit more complicated. Astronauts on the International Space Station are strapped into sleeping bags to prevent them from drifting around due to zero gravity.

World Sleep Day FAQs

Next World Sleep Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 March 17th Friday
2024 March 15th Friday
2025 March 21st Friday
2026 March 20th Friday
2027 March 19th Friday
What is the pattern? Friday before the March Equinox

World Sleep Day Word Search

  • Sleep
  • Snooze
  • Dreams
  • Rest
  • Comfort
  • Pajamas