Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:55 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 7:55 AM (IST)WORLD SLEEP DAY
Smart gadgets have connected the world like never before and made our life easier. On the flip side, they have also eaten into the quality of our sleep. Here are a few tips to balance it all
“Having peace, happiness, and healthiness is my definition of beauty. And you can’t have any of that without sleep.” — Beyonce
HEN Queen Bey says that, one listens, especially if it happens to be the World Sleep Day. However, due to our super-obsession with smart phones, sleep is bearing the brunt big time.
A recent study — Godrej Interio [email protected] sleep-o-meter — points out that a startling 94 per cent of children and teenagers from Chandigarh don’t sleep at the right time! Its causes and effects are not that startling though. As many as 32 per cent browse smart-phones or watch TV before sleeping; More than 19 per cent sleep post-mid-night, which results in 52 per cent feeling dull and drowsy after they get up.
Sleep issues are not with teenagers alone. Working professionals to children, over the years, different studies have pointed out that blue light interferes with our 40 winks! Too much of blue-wavelength light emitting from our phones, laptop and computer screens has been robbing us of sleep.
As many as 90 to 95 per cent of patients that walk into Dr Anuneet Sabharwal’s clinic are sleep deprived. However, the sleep issues are irrespective of mental disorders. “While many of us take sleep issues to be isolates, largely they are not,” points out psychiatrist Dr Sachin Kaushik. Furthermore, this lack of sleep leads to obesity, emotional imbalance to even medical disorders.
While there can be physiological reasons – poor lifestyle or pathological – ailment, anxiety, depressions that lead to sleep disorders, it’s largely the lifestyle issues that one must address at the earliest. “Pineal gland that produces the hormone melatonin, which induces sleep, is affected by light,” shares Dr Sabharwal. “All the lights interfere with pineal gland, causing disruption of sleep. So, stay away from anything that emits light – phone, TV, laptop, before you sleep.”
Stick to timings
While there may be various other reasons like stress that would need a remedy, basic tips work. “Subconscious mind is a super thing. Stick to timings and rituals work for quality sleep,” says Dr Sabharwal. He is dead against using the bed for reading, watching TV or eating. “For a few weeks stick to time, draw the curtains and do away with any source of light to have a restful night. You will wake up refreshed,” he promises.
Dr Sachin Kaushik stresses much on one’s sleep hygiene. Here are some very basic, but highly effective tips
- No screens – phone, TV, computer – an hour before bed time. Dinner must be two hours prior to sleep time. Wash one’s face or feet; prepare the mind and body for deep slumber
- No caffeinated drinks three-four hours before you retire to bed. Smoking is a stimulant, so a big no-no towards the night!
- Alcohol interferes with sleep cycle too, so, if you must, have it early in the evening so that the effect wears out by the bed time.
- Always wake up at the same time irrespective of when you went to bed. The body adjusts to the rhythm eventually.
- Don’t have a clock in front of the bed, for anyone who has sleep issues will keep checking time, which activates the mind further, as if it is racing against the clock.
- Good exercise promotes deep sleep.