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Let's do something about Sleep

  • 25 April 2018
  • By Shveta Bhagat

World Sleep Day is observed annually to draw attention to the importance of sleep in the gadget fraught era. This year’s theme is “Preserve your rhythms, to enjoy Life.” The “rhythms” refer to the circadian rhythm which is our internal biological clock that regulates our sleep cycle and helps us differentiate between sleeping time and wakefulness.

Sleep has become such a luxury with everyone stretched for time. Sleep author, Arianna Huffington said in an interview recently, we need to stop glamourising people who are always on the phone. We need to detach and lead a balanced life. We need to take out time to enjoy the little joys of life, spend time with nature and loved ones, and disconnect from the trappings of gadgets, while keeping routine.

The term ‘Beauty sleep’ is for real. In her book, she also opens up about how being well rested brought about a change in her personality and cut years from her looks, deflecting the thought of Botox.

Sunday (www.sundayrest.com), a new-age brand into mattresses designed with orthopedic guidance commissioned a sleep survey that showed how majority Indians, at least in metropolitan cities despite work schedules are in the habit of sleeping late. While the best time to sleep is anywhere between 10-11pm, statistics indicate the trend being otherwise. Mumbai has the highest proportion of night owls who sleep after midnight. Only 37.27% of Bangalore residents sleep by 10pm; compared to 10% for Delhi and 12.8% for Mumbai. Rest all sleep by midnight if not later.

Alphonse Reddy, Founder, Sunday says, “The study shows how a fast lifestyle, sedentary habits and nagging addictions are leading to sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep. Also the majority of population in India is young and restless, and with so many distractions nowadays sleep is getting bartered.”

Sleep is the most precious natural resource that we are not honouring enough. According to Dr Himanshu Garg, Somnologist and Founder, Aviss Health, “With people increasingly socializing till late at night and working over time, they are losing out on quality sleep. Children preparing for exams are losing out on sleep hours to pack in more, not realizing the REM phase of sleep which is the deepest is when information gets best absorbed and by sleeping late, they are missing out on it.”

Everyone seems to be focusing on exercising and dieting, not understanding the integral part of this triumvirate which is Sleep. For long lasting productivity, efficiency, and memory, good sleep is a prerequisite. The “bravado” attached to less sleep, needs to go.

Expectations seem to be bearing heavy on sleep. Psychologist Neha Patel from Nanavati hospital says, “There are a lot of expectations from society and individuals from themselves, which when unmet are leading to anxiety and sleep loss.” Getting good sleep is imperative for overall mental and physical well being. “Sufficient sleep can help people cope with life better and live with confidence,” says Patel.


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