With busy schedules and obsession with work,
millions of Indians today are chronically sleep deprived. Even children and teens are affected, who
stay up late nights partying or engaged in endless social networking. The 24/7
schedule has now slowly seeped into our daily lives, putting a serious impact
on our overall health and even possibly affecting our lifespan.
Read on to find out why getting the 8 hours of
relaxed sleep should be your "Number One" priority.
happiness, minus sadness:
Around 10% of the world's population suffers from insomnia,
and the numbers are rapidly increasing each day. The lesser you sleep, the more
you tend to be stressed; the more the stress levels, the more the chances of
you getting affected by insomnia. It can be hard to get out of this vicious
cycle, but thanks to the number of new cutting-edge technologies and treatments
available, it is now easy to control insomnia and get those hours of relaxed
sleep you truly deserve.
Higher stress levels can affect mood and can
severely impact social situations, affecting relationships and even workplace
deprivation doesn't merely affect your physical state; it also hampers mental
well-being. Getting less sleep can affect your problem-solving skills, concentration
and memory power. Chronic sleep deprivation can put a serious impact on your
mental health and promote brain ageing, ultimately leading to a number of
What's surprising is that sleep deprivation can
have the same effects on your mental state as overindulging in alcohol. Dr
Gerard Lombardo, the director of the Sleep Disorders Center in New York rated
the performance of individuals who had been awake for 17 hours straight and
found it amazingly similar to those who indulged in 2 drinks an hour.
Shed a few
deprivation is associated with a decrease in metabolism and an increase in
appetite; no wonder getting less sleep is directly linked to obesity. Michael
Breus, author of 'Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-week Program to Better Sleep
and Better Health' explains that inadequate sleep increases the levels of the
hormone ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry and decreases the levels of
leptin, the hormone which causes you to feel full.
What's even more interesting is that sleep
deprivation affects the choices of food we take through the day. Inadequate
sleep causes you to crave for sugar-loaded foods and carbohydrates. Sleep
deprivation has also been linked to decreased insulin sensitivity, putting you
at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
stomach problems and speedy ageing process are common among people who manage
with 4-5 hours of sleep. Uninterrupted sleep, on the contrary, can improve
muscle tone, get you more oxygen and even enhance your skin health. This
explains why you look terrible when you are sleep deprived.
Also, growth hormone levels tend to stay normal
during sleep, which plays a vital role in maintaining optimum health, slowing
down ageing and reviving your sex drive.
longer and healthier:
The author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep, Dr
Lawrence Epstein states that the link between less sleep and health issues is
getting clearer than ever before. Statistically, around 29% of Indians get to
bed only after midnight, and around 61% Indians are sleep-deprived.
Also, people who sleep less are more likely to
suffer from high blood pressure and related problems. This is simply because
blood pressure and heart rates are the lowest during sleep. Furthermore, many
research findings clearly link the lack of sleep to elevated blood pressure
levels, weight gain, heart attacks and even diabetes. Sleep deprived people
tend to have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood which hamper immune
function; a good night's sleep, on the other hand, seems to improve the chances
of a flu shot working to its optimum level. Needless to say, people who sleep
longer live longer and better lives.
Though the widespread belief that 8 hours of
sleep is enough for an adult individual holds true for a majority of people,
studies from the new Washington State University suggest that the amount of
sleep required by a person is largely dependent on his/her genetic
This is clearly the reason why some people seem to get
all the sleep in the world but still wake up feeling tired and drowsy, while
some others manage wonderfully with just a few hours of sleep.