Sleep is Bliss!

How many of us here are on the quest for success? All of us, you bet!

So we grind, grind, grind and burn the midnight oil, right?

A sleep-deprived species, we are programmed from childhood to sleep less, work hard to be successful in life.

Are we afraid of missing the bus? Remember, we’ll not be in the bus but in the hospital soon if we neglect what every human body craves for – not food, not entertainment but Sleeeeeeep!!!

There is a stage in people’s ‘after life goals achieved’ when they end up with insomnia!! Once our life’s goals are achieved, why don’t we sleep happily? Why are we so over-wrought?

This is predominantly an Asian phenomenon. We celebrate the person who hardly sleeps and works hard (ly?!!!) Worse, we celebrate women who don’t sleep much but take care of family, food, festivals, and of course now-a-days work in the office as well. As a culture, it is all right for a man to sleep in but not a woman. Is it that Asians are highly competitive, obsessed with achievements that they have forgotten to relax and sleep?

Studies have shown that sleeping is more important than achieving success.

Students, especially should be encouraged to sleep well, especially before an exam. Most coaching schools that are residential hardly allow kids to sleep, which is another form of abuse. Sadly, parents and teachers encourage it.

Sleep is required to help our bodies take care of important fundamental work like memories, repair muscles, release hormones that influence appetite and growth. Sleep restores your body, mentally and physically, whether it’s a simple cold or fever or a physical injury.

Lack of sleep can be attributed to the reason behind irritable behavior, short temper, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, depression, anxiety and many more. The final result: dip in productivity at work that again leads to ‘don’t sleep-work hard syndrome’. We are back to square one!!

Many unhappy people are also traced to people who lack the basic 6-8 hours of good sleep. The National Sleep Foundation undertook a two-year Study to assess the amount of sleep one needs. The results they found are:

Younger Adults (18-25 years old): 7-9 hours

Adults (26-64 years old): 7-9 hours

Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Several other Studies also point out that there is a 13% higher mortality risk in those who sleep lesser.

Wait a minute, is it just the quantity of sleep or the quality?

Ability to fall asleep in 30 minutes or lesser, sleep soundly are indicators of good health, although ability to go back to sleep quickly also helps. There are the drifters who are genetically wired to require less hours of sleep. These people do not suffer from insomnia and remain healthy with less sleep too. But this does not hold true for all.

Do’s and Don’ts

Number one priority these days is the electronic detox!

  • Get off your mobile devices, computers, television and

any other speak-to devices like Alexa, Siri etc

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.

(Although it has been seen that intoxicated people sleep well!!

They just wake up to a bad morning)

  • Exercise instead to get a good sleep.
  • Dim lights and cool rooms induce sleep.

For the music lovers, soothing music and for the book lovers, read a good book.

Most important and challenging is to ‘switch off thoughts’!

How do you do that? This you can, if you make a mental concluding note for each topic that’s on your mind. Topics that are concurrent, mentally order the Action Plan, which can also be as simple as, let me think about it tomorrow!!

Invest in quality sleep, a healthy diet and a balanced lifestyle.

It helps you and everyone around you to live a better quality life!!

 

References:

http://sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders-by-category/insomnias/short-sleeper

https://www.rand.org/pubs/periodicals/health-quarterly/issues/v6/n4/11.html

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/SleepDiaryv6.pdf

https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-019-1136-9

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