On the long list of things people can do to bolster their well-being, sleep ranks third after eating well and being physically active.







We are calling out sleep as a key ingredient for health today, World Sleep Day 2024.

Yes, it’s a real thing, and this year speaks to the theme of Sleep Equity for Global Health.

The data point here comes from Datassential‘s latest consumer survey conducted across all adult age groups in the U.S. This information was shared with us yesterday during the company’s session covering Health and the Food & Beverage Industry.

So what does sleep have to do with F&B in the retail consumer’s life?

A lot: because more people are taking on self-care health behaviors around the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom and, in this case, the bedroom.

Food, beverages, vitamins and supplements, and other consumables are also playing growing roles in patient-as-consumer life-flows and spending. “The bed” has emerged as a mainstream luxury good; if you watch television and take in ads, you’d swear there was a new enchanting bed-brand launched on a weekly basis.

These have been featured at the annual CES (aka the Consumer Electronics Show) for many years, which I most recently discussed here in Health Populi sharing insights from the 2024 CES on the home as health hub.





“Because sleep is essential to health, everyone must have access to adequate sleep regardless of location, socioeconomic status, environmental conditions and disruptions, social structures and histories, community and interpersonal relationships, and individual beliefs and behaviors,” the sponsors of World Sleep Day explain.

We thus add another health equity pillar to the long list of health disparities we track in public health: sleep disparities, which impact people around the world in both wealthy and developing countries.

There is a growing evidence base of research supporting sleep’s role in good health. In just the last couple of weeks I’ve come across these three papers which speak to sleep-as-medicine:

  • In the March 5 2024 issue of JAMA Network Open, research into habitual short sleep duration, diet, and the development of Type 2 diabetes in adults
  • To be presented in April 2024 at the 76th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, a study into how sleep apnea unaddressed can exacerbate cognitive health issues, memory and thinking problems
  • With Daylight Saving Time clicking in last weekend (on Sunday 10 March at 2 am), the Sleep Foundation offered sound advice on how to manage the shift in our circadian rhythm to ensure sound sleep hygiene.








RAND published a comprehensive research report on insomnia’s economic and societal burden, calculating the base of people with chronic insomnia and the fiscal impact of sleeplessness on the economics of the family as well as in aggregate to society.

On a granular level, the negative impacts on the family unit include days of absenteeism (missing work days) as well as nearly two person-months of overall productivity loss annually. There are also a bunch of hidden, intangible costs accruing to chronic insomnia that are not directly observed through economic transactions but exert negative impacts on that sleepless person’s well-being.







I leave you with the sweet restful baby — whose REM is enviable among those of us who have dealt with some flavor of insomnia or sleep disorder.

Oh, if we could peek into those baby-dreams!

Onward to better sleep, and grace and rest-inducing lullabies for those dealing with sleeplessness.