Sleep

Woman's Era - - Editorial -

Six-eight hours of sleep are es­sen­tial for body’s health and longevity as dur­ing sleep, the body and mind re­lax and re­pair them­selves. Sleep de­pri­va­tion leads to ill­nesses. The sleep hor­mone, mela­tonin, is also an ex­cel­lent an­tiox­i­dant, im­prov­ing longevity. Mela­tonin pro­duc­tion deto­ri­ates with age, sleep­ing in a dark room and a good sleep im­proves its pro­duc­tion. Hence, avoid sleep­dis­turb­ing fac­tors such as light, cof­fee, al­co­hol, tea, large meals be­fore sleep.

In­som­nia is the most com­mon sleep dis­or­der. It is a symp­tom and not a dis­ease. More than 50 per cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from some type of in­ter­mit­tent sleep dis­tur­bances. Fif­teen to 20 per cent of adults suf­fer from chronic sleep dis­tur­bances. The lack of good qual­ity rest is one of the most com­mon causes of sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to ill­ness, and a good night’s rest is an ef­fec­tive heal­ing tech­nique that will abort many in­cip­i­ent ill­nesses. There­fore, im­prov­ing the qual­ity of rest and sleep should be an­other pri­or­ity in a pro­gramme aimed at en­hanc­ing your heal­ing ca­pac­ity.

Lack of sleep makes you ir­ri­ta­ble, lethar­gic and tired. You can­not con­cen­trate on dif­fi­cult and com­plex sit­u­a­tions. Stud­ies show that shift work­ers have higher rates of breast can­cer than women who are able to sleep nor­mal hours. Two pos­si­ble cul­prits are the hor­mones mela­tonin and cor­ti­sone. Mela­tonin is an an­tiox­i­dant that mops up dam­ag­ing free rad­i­cals, but the body pro­duces less of it when sleep cy­cles are dis­rupted. Cor­ti­sone, which helps reg­u­late the im­mune sys­tem, may also be com­pro­mised by trou­bled sleep. A Yale Univer­sity re­port says that peo­ple who sleep less than six hours a day reg­u­larly dou­ble their risk of di­a­betes mel­li­tus and those who sleep for more than eight hours triple the risk.

Geeta Ku­mari, a 48-year-old me­dia per­son­al­ity, wakes up in the morn­ing feel­ing tired, as if she has not slept at all. She tends to nap dur­ing meet­ings and con­ver­sa­tions. She feels tired and suf­fers from headaches through­out the day. Some­times, she wakes up at mid­night and can­not go back to sleep again. She was over­weight (70 kg). She started prac­tis­ing this tech­nique to re­duce her weight and is now sleep­ing bet­ter though her weight is still 56 kg.

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