Its World Sleep Day & You’re Still Scrolling feed! Sleep Deprivation is Not Cool

World Sleep Day: Sleep Deprivation can lead to many health consequences!

Sleep deprivation: These proverbs may seem vague now, as Indians may not justify it. A survey conducted in July 2021 by Max Hospital, Delhi, found that 75% of young adults have irregular sleep-wake cycles. Moreover, a recent international sleep conference in Nagpur found that the average sleeping hours per day have decreased globally. In addition, India stands second on the list. In India, an average person can sleep for only six and a half hours.

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However, you will be amazed to find that Indians sleeping less is also affecting our economy. According to a study by the RAND organization, the USA, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia, and Canada suffer an economic loss of around $700 billion every year because their citizens are suffering from sleep deprivation.

So, it is your national duty to sleep more.

Writer’s note* It is Monday, and I washed my face twice to stay awake. Therefore, there is a possibility that I will contribute a bit to the national economy right after submitting this write-up.

Lack of sleep has several health consequences too. Cardiologist in Delhi, Dr. Sameer Kubba, explains, “A large number of young patients have had a heart attack or a stroke or have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, or even cancer. Many factors may lead to such diseases, but Sleep deprivation is the one that is least talked of.”

Sleep Deprivation: Science behind sleep

Experts believe that 95% of adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Most adults should be aiming for at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Whereas children, teenagers, and older adults might need more than 8 hours of sleep. Sleep serves multiple purposes that are essential to our brain and body.

Benefits of sleeping

1. Sleep helps in brain restoration

Recent research suggests that sleep plays a role in brain detox every night. During sleep, the size of our brain cells shrinks by 60%, allowing the brain’s waste-removal system, called the “glymphatic system.”

2. Sleep makes memory consolidation easier

You might have noticed that it becomes difficult to remember things if you do not sleep enough.

*”Therefore, this write-up has only two bullet points.”

Reasons for sleep deprivation

1. Global lifestyle

Edison be like:

Thomas Edison, the light bulb inventor, once said, “Sleep is a criminal waste of time, inherited from our cave days.” His invention helped people work more efficiently after dark and became more productive. Electricity and lighting changed people’s sleep habits in modern society. India has witnessed a rise in both electrification and mobile phone access. Due to this, the productivity of people has increased.

But at what cost?

Sleep Specialist Dr Vikram Sarabhai says, “To become a part of the 24-hour society, Indians are taking sleep deprivation in their stride without realizing it.”

Some call-centre employees work through the night or professionals who work late hours. They have to compromise on sleep because of a global lifestyle.

2. Technology

*If your mom says Aag laga de iss phone mai, baat maan lo yaar! Toh phone band kardo, aag lagane ki jarurat nhi

Manju Pathak, a professor of Biotechnology at Amity University, Noida, revealed in her research that social media usage is one of the critical factors that affect the sleep patterns of Indian Youths.

The use of social media is not a problem, but keeping phones in the bedroom itself can disrupt your sleep cycle. These self-lighting phones suppress a natural hormone made by the pineal gland that induces sleep. If this part of the circadian rhythm is constantly disrupted, it can lead to different disorders, including sleep apnoea, a common but deadly killer.

3. Academic and work pressure

Not only your lifestyle but the lifestyle of the people also matters. Apart from technology, the academic workload and work pressure are essential factors behind sleep disorders. At least 20 to 30% of children lack adequate sleep due to pressure from schools, peers, and parents to perform well in academics.

Read More- Ever wondered what your sleeping position reveals about your relationship?

Working professionals also face similar issues. Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Max Hospital director, said that 3 in 4 adolescents face sleep disorders. Due to working from home, many people faced the pressure of managing their work, simultaneously managing other chores.

How to improve your sleep quality

· Improve your diet

We should not consume spicy food before sleeping. Instead, we should consume natural fatty foods like warm milk. She also suggests sleeping at least 3 hours after dinner.

· No caffeine before bed

Be it tea, coffee, or soft drinks, consuming caffeine hampers sleep.

· A warm shower before bed

Warm body showers can relax your body

· No screens in bed

Avoid using e-gadgets before you sleep, as it suppresses a hormone that induces sleep.

· Seek medical help

If your sleep order is severe, seek medical help. Do not try to be a self-doctor.

Now, keep your phone aside and doze off!

Sweet dreams!

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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