In recent years a lot of attention has been given to sleep, an essential part of our daily cycle, which accounts for approximately one-third of our lifetimes. World Sleep Day, organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, is held every March to highlight the importance of sleep for a healthy life and raise awareness of the impacts of sleep disorders. In Japan there is an additional day focused on sleep, with Autumn Sleep Day held every September 3rd. These two events are part of a non-continuous period called Sleep Health Week. In support of this Otsuka Pharmaceutical organizes information sessions and shares information on our website explaining the importance of internal bodily rhythms.
We know that a healthy sleep pattern is essential to feeling refreshed and having a fulfilling day, but despite this many people do not get enough sleep. There are many factors that contribute to sleep problems, such as anxiety and stress. However, recently more attention has been paid to the disruption of internal bodily rhythms.
Although we use a 24-hour cycle to measure time daily, our internal body clock cycle is actually a little longer than 24 hours. We usually reset this difference by getting some morning sunlight or by having breakfast. However, due to our modern lifestyles and an always-on society there is an increased risk for a more significant gap to develop between our internal clock and our daily routine, which can lead to an irregular sleep pattern.
A common example of this would be sleeping in on a day off to make up for a lack of sleep in the week leading up to it. However, doing this can then lead to difficulties in falling asleep the following night or waking up at the right time in the morning.
This pattern of having different sleep patterns on weekdays and at the weekends causes what is known as social jet lag, with research showing that our internal body clock can be shifted by 30-45 minutes just by sleeping in on two days. Also, once the rhythm has been disrupted, it is not easy to restore it, and daytime performance may be affected due to feelings of exhaustion. The key to developing a sleep pattern that supports both mental and physical health is to take care of your internal bodily rhythms and manage the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Although the Japanese population enjoys a long, healthy life expectancy, the average time spent sleeping is extremely short compared to other countries. Furthermore, there is reportedly a substantial economic loss associated with not getting enough sleep.
To help people live active daily lives, in 2017, Otsuka developed Kenja-no-kaimin Sleep Rhythm Support (The Wise Man's Sleep Solution), to support the maintenance of bodily rhythms that improve the quality of sleep and help people wake up feeling refreshed and energized. The product was submitted to the Consumer Affairs Agency of Japan for labelling as Foods with Function Claims.
Otsuka will continue to share the latest knowledge and accurate information related to sleep,while working to create original products rooted in science to further support healthy lifestyles.