Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Sleepless in the City


“I never compromise on my sleep, because when I do I feel very grumpy and am not at all energetic in the day, and I sleep for solid seven to eight hours every day. But, I do not disclose it when I am with my friends, because most of them are sleep deprived and they feel jealous when they learn that I manage to get so many hours of shut eye,” disclosed Anita Bhargav, Relationship Manager with ICICI Bank.

Young India is sleepless and they are not apologetic about it. In fact, sleeping less is often worn as badge of honour, because the person is able to accomplish so much more.
While talking of sleep, you can’t skip time. An hour spent in sleep is hour well spent. For years doctors have cried hoarse on the ill-effects of sleep deficit.” Chronic sleep deficit lasts more than three weeks and increases the risk for injuries in home, at the workplace, while driving and decreases your concentration,” says Dr Rachna Singh, Psychologist and Lifestyle Consultant with Artemis. Sleep deficit behind the wheels can turn fatal. A recent study at AIIMS shows that a significant number of commercial drivers who got injured in road accidents either had abnormal sleep patterns or had sleep deprivation a night before the accident.

Reasons to snooze

Adequate hours of shut eye are needed to rejuvenate and rest our body. There is almost unanimous agreement on seven to eight hours of sleep, which our body needs. Such is life that getting sleep every night is not that simple. After all, there are family and social commitments. “Such people oversleep on weekends to make up for the sleep deficit,” says Dr Singh

Sleep deficit grows slowly and it can manifest in various health disorders, which at the outset don’t seem at all linked to sleep. Manoj Sharma is a hypertensive and on days when he isn’t able to clock 7-8 hours of sleep, he feels his blood pressure refuses to budge even after the anti-hypertensive medicines. Sleep deficit is linked to depression and heart disease, informs Dr Singh. Even modest alterations in sleeping patterns have a lot of effect on person’s mood. We all have felt it, some time or the other. Persistent sleep deficit may even predict the future development of emotional disorders in some cases. Insomnia increases the activity of the hormones and pathways in the brain that cause stress, and changes in sleeping patterns have been shown to have significant affects on mood. “Ongoing insomnia may be a sign of anxiety and depression,” informs Dr Singh.
While there is still a lot of mystery on what happens while we are sleeping, there is no denying the fact that nothing rejuvenates human body like a good night rest.

Sleep well

1. Establish a sleep schedule.
2. Do not exercise before bedtime.
3. Eat light meals and schedule dinner four to five hours before bedtime.
4. Try drinking warm milk at bed time

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Category: Sleep Well
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