Sleep, A Vital Pill To Physical And Mental Wellbeing

Sleep insufficiency not only causes tiredness but can increment the chance of a wide run of infections and physical issues

Not getting enough sleep depletes one's mental abilities and puts physical health in jeopardy. Research has shown that poor sleep is linked to several health issues, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

Sleep is defined as an altered state of consciousness or a state of body and mind in which the nervous system is less active, the body is relaxed, and consciousness is stagnant. But, in today's era, how many people follow an appropriate sleeping pattern? Some figures show, 45 per cent of the world's population is threatened with sleep problems that affect health and quality of life.

Teenagers today are the most sleep-deprived generation. The average teens sleep about 6.5 hours a night, but ideally, they should sleep between 9 and 10 hours. Most younger generations are the bait of insomnia, either due to poor mental health or social media.

Dr Vaishakh Anand, Consultant Neurologist - Department of Neurology of Amrita Hospital said, "Sleep is the best meditation as per Dalai Lama. But in the modern world, a good night’s sleep is a distant dream for many owing to numerous improper sleep habits. Maintaining proper sleep hygiene is the most important step in attaining good sleep. Sleep hygiene refers to the good practices related to sleep which can improve the quality and quantity of sleep. A proper seven to eight hours of sleep is adequate for a grown-up adult."

He suggests that a stable bedtime and waketime routine must be followed even during weekends or off days. The bedroom environment should be conducive to undisturbed sleep. A cool, quiet, and dark setting is the most appropriate. Use the bedroom only for sleeping and try to avoid working there.

Young adults must avoid using digital gadgets and screens for at least an hour before sleeping. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol will not promote good sleep, albeit it disrupts the sleep cycle, as per Dr Anand. Alcohol, other substances, coffee, tea, etc must be avoided in the late evenings. Underlying medical conditions also may disrupt sleep, and in such cases, a doctor needs to be consulted at the earliest, he said.

How Sleep Affects Physical Health

The relationship between sleep and general physical wellbeing is well-documented. Sleep permits both the body and brain to recoup amid the night. A good night's sleep guarantees one will feel revived and alert in the morning.

Sleep insufficiency not only causes tiredness but can increment the chance of a wide run of infections and physical issues. These incorporate digestive issues, high blood pressure, heart risks, obesity, diabetes, and stroke. Lack of sleep postures a risk to overall physical security.

Dr Shivanshu Raj Goyal, Consultant, Respiratory/ Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine of Artemis Hospital, Gurugram said, "A sound sleep is a very essential important part of our everyday life. It helps to nourish your brain, improves memory and makes process whatever you have learnt in the entire day, makes you ready for the next day by promoting healing along with keeping your heart, lungs and immune system healthy. Also, promotes sharper concentration, better decision making, increased energy and stress management."

How Sleep Affects Mental Health

Brain function changes amid sleep, expanding and diminishing amid diverse sleep stages that make up the rest cycle. Sleep plays a vital role in wellbeing of the brain, permitting function in its numerous parts to incline up or down and empowering way better considering, learning, and memory.

Research has moreover revealed that brain function amid sleep has significant impacts on emotional and mental wellbeing.

Getting enough sleep makes it easier for the brain to process emotional information. During sleep, the brain is active to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it seems that a lack of sleep is particularly harmful to the reinforcement of positive emotional content. It can affect mood and emotional responses and is associated with mental health disorders like stress, anxiety, and depression.

Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder and Senior Psychiatrist of Manasthali Wellness said, "Sleep is essential for maintaining good mental health; it is not a luxury. We need to get enough quality sleep to refuel our minds. The brain works to evaluate and retain thoughts and memories while we sleep, and it appears that lack of sleep is particularly detrimental to the consolidation of emotionally positive content. This is linked to mental health disorders and their severity, including the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions, and can affect mood and emotional reactivity."

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