Dr Shyam­sun­der Subra­ma­nian, Con­sul­tant, Pul­monary/ Crit­i­cal Care/ Sleep Medicine

Health & Nutrition - - JUST LAUNCHED -

Iam 15 years old and cur­rently prep­ping up for my board ex­am­i­na­tions. As my day is packed with aca­demics and cur­ric­u­lar classes, I am of­ten sleep de­prived and have been con­sum­ing sleep­ing tablets. Is it safe to take th­ese pills be­fore my ex­am­i­na­tions? Di­vya Jain, Haryana Sleep is an ex­tremely im­por­tant com­po­nent of brain de­vel­op­ment and health. In par­tic­u­lar, at­ten­tion and fo­cus is crit­i­cally de­pen­dent on good sleep. And ad­e­quate REM sleep is vi­tal for im­prov­ing mem­ory. You should make it a pri­or­ity to get at least nine hours of sleep as a 15-year-old. Even get­ting one hour less sleep ev­ery­day builds up ‘sleep debt’ over time which is detri­men­tal to not only your brain health but also over­all health, and pre­dis­poses to dis­eases such as ADHD, and obe­sity. Tak­ing med­i­ca­tions/ stim­u­lants to counter the ef­fects of sleep de­pri­va­tion is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and has nu­mer­ous side ef­fects. Un­less there is a med­i­cal rea­son to be on stim­u­lants, pre­scribed by an ex­pe­ri­enced sleep physi­cian or psy­chi­a­trist, th­ese med­i­ca­tions should be com­pletely avoided at all costs.

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