Sunday, November 17, 2013

The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to. - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

24x7 our life does move in consonance with mother earth's movement round the Energy God, Sun. Morning to noon to evening to finally night, the day long activities are positioned accordingly.

But, rightly or wrongly, in the name of LPG (Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization) the natural character of people's daily routine, in countries like India too, underwent changes, more for the worse particularly for the urban population.Even normal sleeping habit is profoundly affected. The age old saying, "Early to Bed and Early to Rise Makes a Man, Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise" is no longer considered worth practicing by many. 

The reasons may also be many, but the fact remains as William Shakespeare writes in Macbeth: "Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care. The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath. Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, chief nourisher in life's feast."

Doctors and medical researchers are of the firm view that a good sleep at night is as essential for proper health, as food and exercise. 

Studies have shown that adults sleeping for 7-8 hours every night have experienced lesser chances of contracting diabetes in the long run, than those who sleep for fewer hours. The science behind it claims that sleep calms the brain and facilitates the normal hormone secretion. 

It has also been medically proved beyond any doubt that much of our body's regeneration processes take place during those sleeping hours. Obviously, lack of sleep, more so of quality sleep, upsets the normal hormonal balance which is one of the major causes of weak metabolism-immunity and consequently of several diseases.

In fact, sleep deprivation is one such casualty of today's fast life which has great negative physiological and behavioral consequences. Sleep deprivation can put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and pushing up blood pressure which may further lead to many health complications. 

It is also found that due to inadequate rest, levels of the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite increase, and the hormone that regulates fullness drops, which could lead to weight gain. Various studies did report a correlation between adults who do not get enough sleep and their tendency to gain weight and become obese. 

Not only this, sleep disorder and/or poor habits that block this progression create a situation of sleep debt. Feeling tired and listless follow from not getting enough sleep or by experiencing poor sleep quality.

Changing the natural course of life at will, doctors opine, affects not only our health but also the health of our family since it has multidimensional impact on our life. Routine and disciplined life having a well-drawn balance among all necessary activities including sleep has several benefits for the family as a whole.

So, it is incorrect to think (and worse even to practice) that night sleep is a luxury and not a necessity. John Steinbeck puts it this way: "It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."

As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.


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