Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Waking up to sleep epidemic


Do you feel tired after waking up in the morning? For many, noon is the new morning!

Doctors give three fundamental medical reasons for sleep disorders-Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome. Due to these common factors, the person cannot get a well-rested sleep at night hence wakes the following day feeling dull & low. There are lifestyle habits, especially among the young brigade, that create a disturbed sleep pattern, causing many mental and physical issues.

There is growing evidence that sleep deprivation is leading to poor health and psychological distress among young adults.

Global Sleep epidemic

There is a chronic sleep debt among people across age groups, especially the youngsters. There is a direct link between sleep deprivation and the performance and agility of people. There is a significant increase in physical and mental issues among individuals due to their unhealthy sleep habits. Disturbed sleep, primarily in youngsters and people in their 20s and early 30s, can be co-related with their lifestyle habits. 

“Yes, the younger generation has become Nocturnal. The circadian rhythm of the body has gone for a toss.  In our 24/7 culture, sleep stands challenged. Several lifestyle factors are significantly associated with the short or wrong sleep cycle that a person develops over a period. These include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, substance addiction, lack of exercise, mental health issues and chronic health conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypertension and more.” explains Dr Devender Taneja, senior Physician and Diabetologist. 

Can you bank sleep?

Experts say that there is no concept of banking your sleep.’ Addressing the younger generation, who believes that it can go on without getting sufficient sleep for days and then compensate sleep every week or ten days by sleeping for 12 hours or 18 hours together, Astha Dhingra, clinical psychologist says, “this is gravely unhealthy.”  It causes mind and body imbalance.

When disturbed, circadian rhythm may cause significant mental and physical issues. The impact of going against the wake & sleep bodily cycle concerns may not cause immediate adverse occurrence. Still, in the near future, its effect can be seen, she adds.   

Importance of circadian rhythm

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes in response to light and dark. The circadian system organizes these changes with internal functions related to all the organs. Our body has a 24-hour internal clock controlling several processes, including sleep-wake cycles. Research has shown that the circadian rhythm directly relates to sleep, when disturbed it causes the irregular sleep-wake syndrome.

“Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that makes you feel tired. This hormone is secreted in higher amounts at night. A restful sleep at night cannot be compared to daytime sleep. Hence people who have wrong sleep timings tend to be more irritable and mostly in a state of fatigue with poor eating habits,” shares Dr Taneja.

The misalignment between circadian rhythms and external cues contributes to mental, metabolic and other disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and addictive disorders.

 Drug addiction represents a global public health concern and affects individuals, families, and communities’ health and well-being. “Unfortunately, smoking up is being taken casually. There are clear indications in the research showing a correlation between the circadian system and the development of addictive disorders. Proper sleep and the wake-up time of an individual is the first step towards getting in sync with your bodily functions and also working to let go of an addiction,” adds Astha.

A global study conducted by RAND (a US non-profit organisation) pointed out that insufficient sleep is costing our health and leading to huge GDP losses of up to 3 per cent. It is time for all stakeholders including individuals, policymakers, employers and everyone must understand that sleep is not optional it is a necessity like food and oxygen. It’s time that we take inspiration from the old rhyme-early to bed early to rise makes the man healthy wealthy & wise or join the ‘5 am club’ of corporate mentors and leaders.

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