The Sleep Health Foundation has been included in the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 released by the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt on Monday 13 December.
Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, Professor Shantha Rajaratnam says the Foundation is “delighted that the Strategy recognises the role of adequate sleep in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
“We see this as the first step and urge the government to take further actions to promote adequate sleep in the community,” says Professor Rajaratnam.
“When we look at the eight factors that Australians consider most important about their health, we see that many are interconnected for which sleep is pivotal.
“Adequate and good quality sleep is integral to achieving optimal physical and mental health. Healthy sleep promotes high energy levels and helps achieve optimal body weight,” he says.
Professor Rajaratnam adds that the release of this Strategy provides “a significant opportunity for sleep to be recognised as a core pillar of health”.
The very first recommendation of the government’s own Parliamentary Inquiry on Sleep Health Awareness in its Bedtime Reading (2019) report, which states that “The Committee recommends that the Australian Government prioritise sleep health as a national priority and recognise its importance to health and wellbeing alongside fitness and nutrition.”
The Sleep Health Foundation notes that people often recognise the importance of sleep but don’t prioritise it enough.
Yet sleep is a behaviour that is often readily modifiable once people are given the right information or interventions to deal with the issues preventing quality sleep.
The Foundation urges the Commonwealth to implement the Bedtime Reading report regarding the need for a national campaign to promote sleep health awareness and behaviour change in the community.