Regrettably, India ranks as the second most sleep-deprived nation globally
Obtaining enough quality sleep is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle, but this remains a challenge for numerous individuals around the world
As we celebrate World Sleep Day, it is imperative that we recognize the sleep issue that plagues India. Regrettably, India ranks as the second most sleep-deprived nation globally. Obtaining enough quality sleep is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle, but this remains a challenge for numerous individuals around the world. Dr Binita Priyambada, Lead-Integrative Medicine, Even Healthcare says, “Sleep deprivation can be due to two causes: difficulty in sleeping- also called insomnia or voluntarily sleeping fewer hours than one should sleep due to lifestyle choices. It has been linked to bad heart health, diabetes, weight gain, and various other health issues. Studies have shown that sleeping less than five hours a day can increase the all-cause mortality risk by at least 15%.”
Priyanka Salot, co-founder, The Sleep Company, adds, “Work-related stress, medical conditions, or lifestyle choices can all contribute to the widespread issue of sleep deprivation. This in turn can negatively impact an individual’s health, productivity, and general well-being.”
Stick to a Sleep Routine
Establishing a consistent sleep routine can aid in combating sleep deprivation. It is recommended to maintain a regular bedtime schedule, even on weekends. Prioritising good sleep hygiene is vital for achieving a restful night’s sleep. Dr Priyambada adds, “It is important to adhere to a fixed time for sleeping, make the bedroom calming, and avoid screens for at least an hour before sleep. Deep breathing techniques, Pranayama especially the Bhramari Pranayama help or even using CBT- I-based apps are found effective for sleep therapy”. Additionally, choosing the right type of mattress is also a crucial factor in improving sleep quality. Investing in a quality mattress like SmartGRID can help alleviate sleep issues such as back pain, restlessness, and night sweats, leading to an overall better sleep experience.
Salot believes that consuming caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can have adverse impacts on sleep quality. These substances can disrupt the circadian rhythm, causing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. To improve the quality of sleep, it is crucial to refrain from consuming these substances before bedtime. Furthermore, avoiding large meals before going to bed is also recommended as they can lead to discomfort and digestive issues, thereby hampering the sleep cycle.
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Focus on your physical and mental fitness
Research suggests that consistent exercise can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. “Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as it can stimulate your mind and make it difficult to fall asleep. To further enhance your sleep, practice meditation and relaxation techniques, since stress is a significant contributor to sleep deprivation”, opines Salot. Limit your exposure to stressful situations, particularly before bedtime, to help calm your mind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
In summary, prioritising our sleep is vital for our overall well-being. Dr Parul Dubey, Consultant Neurologist, Manipal Hospitals, Goa, believes that, “Sleep deprivation, much like stress, is a disease of our modern era that gives birth to a host of other illnesses. However, by incorporating habits like taking short power naps, maintaining good sleep hygiene, listening to calming music, using relaxation techniques, adhering to a consistent sleep routine and limiting screen time, one can enhance the quality of sleep.” By valuing and focusing on improving our sleep, we can cultivate a better quality of life and maintain our overall health and well-being.
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