(WHTM) — March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, but did you know it’s also a day to celebrate the best part of the day?

Well, that last part is my own opinion, but World Sleep Day is March 17, 2023, and is hosted by The World Sleep Society. According to them, just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behavior that is crucial to one’s physical, mental, and social well-being. However, sleep is not yet commonly considered an essential behavior for good health.

World Sleep Day is an opportunity to promote sleep health alongside thousands of other sleep health professionals and advocates.

Here are some facts you may not know about sleep, according to the Cleveland Clinic and the Sleep Health Foundation.

  • Tiredness peaks twice a day. This is usually at 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is why you are less alert after you eat lunch.
  • Being awake for 16 hours straight decreases your performance as much as if your blood alcohol level were .05% (the legal limit is .08%).  
  • Sleep changes across the night in cycles of about 90 minutes. There is REM (dreaming) sleep in every cycle, even if only for a short time.  We also have very brief arousals many times across the night. We are not aware of most of these arousals, and we forget most dreams.
  • The first three hours of sleep have the deepest stages of sleep (Slow Wave Sleep). Later on in the night, we have more of the sleep stage with vivid dreams (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, REM sleep).

The Sleep Health Foundation states that scientists do not fully understand why we need to sleep so badly. They do believe, however, it restores us physically and helps us reorganize things in our brains. Although, we all know we can’t live our best lives without it!