“Early to bed, early to rise, keeps a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
We all heard this phrase since childhood. But do we follow this? we have a fixed time to wake up, so we can attain our school, college or work. But how many of us have a fixed time to sleep, so we can complete our 7 to 8-hour sleep? Most of us will answer it “NO”
Sleep is one of the most important factors of a healthy lifestyle. But many of us neglect it because we do not know the harmful effects we are getting by accumulating sleep debt. Even with one day’s lack of sleep, we can experience dullness, sleepiness, lack of concentration, headache, acidity, etc.
Effect of good sleep on our body:
- Body temperature decreases
- Muscles get relaxed
- Increases in blood supply to muscles
- Growth and repair in tissues
- Restoration of energy
- Release of hormones eg Growth hormone which is essential for growth and development
- Brain and body get energized
Our body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to be at its best. During sleep, our body makes repairs and restores its chemical balance. Without enough sleep, our brain and body systems will not function properly which will lower the quality of our life.
Causes of sleep deprivation:
- Lack of sleep
- poor quality of sleep
- Obstructive sleep apnea – nighttime breathing disorder
Signs of sleep deprivation:
- Excessive Sleepiness
- Lethargic feeling
When we have sleep debt it affects all the systems of our body which can cause many health issues like diabetes, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure, etc…. It can also increase the level of cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to irritability, anger, anxiety, depression, and also suicidal thoughts. In chronic sleep deprivation, we can start having hallucinations, seeing or hearing things that are not there.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation:
- Due to sleep deprivation our brain gets brain exhausted, which will lead to get difficulty concentrating or learn new things and poor memory.
- It can also affect our decision-making power and creativity. Sleep deprivation also decreases our coordination which is increasing your risk for accidents.
- Sleep deprivation can cause Microsleep at day time. During microsleep, you will fall asleep for a few seconds or minutes unknowingly. You can not control microsleep and hence it can be dangerous when you are driving. Even during your daily activity, you are more prone to accidental injuries.
- Sleep deprivation also leads to an increase in levels of insulin after we eat food, which promotes fat storage and increases the risk for type 2 diabetes.
- We can feel too tired to exercise due to sleep deprivation. This can reduce physical activity and you gain weight because you’re not burning enough calories and building muscle mass.
- Growth hormones help to build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues. Sleep deprivation can also affect growth hormone production.
- Ghrelin and leptin are the hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness. Sleep deprivation can cause an imbalance in the level of these hormones, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.
- Hormone production is dependent on your sleep. For testosterone production, you need at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep during your starting sleeping hours. Waking up frequently during sleep could affect hormone production.
- Our immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances like cytokines. Cytokines help to fight against bacteria and viruses. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system’s defense against foreign invaders.
- Chronic sleep deprivation also increases your risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Lack of sleep causes improper healing of blood vessels and heart which can lead to cardiovascular diseases like Hypertension, Heart attack or Stroke.
The long-term sleep deprivation diminishes your mental abilities and puts your physical health at risk.
Tips for Getting a Good Sleep
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine late evening and alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Sleeping and waking hours should be the same.
- Do relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath before sleep.
- Avoid heavy dinner, eat at least 2 hrs before sleep.
- Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime.
- Avoid doing exercises close to bedtime.
- Keep proper sleep hygiene. Avoid bright lights and loud noises, keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
All sleep disorders can be treated effectively with Homoeopathy, as it removes the causation to get rid of the effect.