By – Dr. Arnab Bera, Consultant Pulmonologist from Medica Superspecialty Hospital.
Sleep is of utmost importance for wellbeing of any individual. We are going to an era of sleep disorder epidemic. Mostly 1/3rd of the people in United States are sleep deprived and one in five car crashes everyday happens due to sleep deprivation. So, sleep fulfills our many important biological functions in our body. Sleep carries a weight of around 2 to 3 kgs in our body and it utilizes 20 to 30% energy in our body. So it is very important to give that a rest. Sleep is also very important to remember things and for memory consolidation. It also helps to maintain our focus, our attention and alertness, which further helps to integrate our daily learning without prior experience. So, it very important for our kids to have a very good and sound sleep at night so that on the next day they can pay their full attention and focus on things.
If the car drivers don’t have a good sleep at night eventually that may result in an accident as they cannot pay full focus. As brain is a high energy consuming organ it needs to replant its energy sources because during this energy consumption there are lot of metabolites which come to our brain which transit involuntary wakefulness to sleep. If a person is not able to get a good sleep, it results in removing the toxins from the body which will further result in accidents.
What do we do to prevent this? We take a coffee which has caffeine and caffeine blocks the signal to our brain, and it also does not help in replenishing the energy. It’s very important to understand that during sleep the repairing of brain cells happens as it also removes the toxins from the body. These toxins are very harmful for our brain cells too. Persons who do not get adequate sleep have a tendency of getting Alzheimer’s and degenerative brain diseases. It’s not only about brain, but sleep is also very important for our heart function too. During sleep the heart can maintain its activity at a low heart pressure and low heart rate, it also helps in replenishing its energy. If your sleep is fragmented, if you have a sleep disorder like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, that will increase your body blood pressure and the other cardiovascular problems. Our immune system is also affected during our sleep. It helps in the resistance of infection. You will be astonished to know people who take Flu shots before winter must have adequate sleep, but if the person does not get sufficient sleep before these Flu shots, they will have a half antibody response. And its proven.
Persons having good quality of sleep have less chances of having an infection. Sleep fragmentation also increases the risk of cancer and increases the growth of the tumor cells. Sleep is also very important for the regulation of our appetite. If a person doesn’t get adequate sleep, their appetite increases, and they tend to have more food than usual days which results in weight gain. Sleep also helps in glucose metabolism too. People not getting adequate sleep will obviously increase the risk of getting diabetes. Consequently, the epidemic of sleep disorder parallelly goes with the epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Mental function of a human also depends on sleep. A sleep deprived individual has more incidents of having depression anxiety even suicidal tendency and they will have poor anger control too. In an untreated obstructive Sleep Apnea person’s cardiovascular rate increases by almost 420%. Nowadays with these electronic gadgets Like mobile phones, TV, OTT platforms, etc. that we use contains blue light which is very harmful. Also, if we take coffee while looking at the blue light, it results in very poor quality of sleep. A normal person will require 7 to 8 hours of good quality of sleep at night. We set alarm when we must wake up, but we don’t set alarm when we must go to sleep. We need to set an alarm to calculate 8 hours of sleep and simultaneously set an alarm 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed. We must fix the timing we have to go to bed every day. In case you have any of the symptoms of bad quality of sleep you need to get treated otherwise you might face these problems.
Every person looks attractive after getting a good quality of sleep and it is published in a Journal by the American Medical Association where they took portraits of the persons having good sleep and persons not having good sleep. You look prettier when you have a good quality of sleep. Not with shaving or showering but with a good sleep a person looks prettier and with no time, one can identify the difference. It’s my earnest request, please have a good quality of sleep because we are going to an epidemic of sleep disorder which will result in hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular death, and various other neurological problems.