WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?Modi Yoga Retreat
Dr.SugataPyne, Medical Superintendent, Modi Luxury Wellness Centre
Most of us do not realise the importance of sleep for our health and well being. Under normal conditions, the human body can live more than 3 weeks without food, without water for may be a week. But without sleep for 24 hours there is significant performance impairment in the body and when the sleepless phase extends beyond 36, 48, 72 hours, the body and mind begins to function in abnormal state which may even result in death. Sleep of 8 hours a day necessary for normal body function.
According to a sleep survey by a leading FMCG brand, about 93% of Indians are sleep deprived, around 87% Indians believe that lack of sleep affects their health and more than 58% of Indians confirms that their work suffers due to lack of sleep.
There are multiple causes of poor sleep including pains and aches, itching skin ailments, gut problems, stress, psychiatric disorders, medical disorders, addictions environmental factors etc.
Not only the quantity, but also quality of sleep is important. According to National Sleep Foundation, the indicators of good sleep quality are-
- Sleeping for more time while in bed (atleast 85% of total time)
- Falling asleep in 30 min or less
- Waking up no more than once per night.
- Being awake for a break of less than 20 min during sleeping hours.
There are 2 types of sleep-
Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep– this is the most common and important type of sleep, when you don’t dream. It is a more relaxed type of sleep. Its benefits are
- Wounds are healed.
- Body energy is restored
- The defence mechanism of the body is propped up and repaired.
- Muscles are relaxed and restored.
- Growth hormones are released
- Brain development happens
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep– it is the dream state and the eyes moves rapidly. It is a rather active form of sleep when brain is almost as active as if it were awake. This type of sleep acts like an internal stimulus that assists in processing memories and building new skills.
What can you do to sleep better?
- Block out the light: humans have a biological clock called circadian rhythm which signals the body when its day or night so as to sleep or wake up. By evening-night, when its dark, the circadian rhythm triggers the release of melatonin- the sleep hormone. Hence bright lights, television in the bedroom hampers the sleeping process since it interferes with the production melatonin. Turn off the lights, use blackout curtains or eye masks for better sleep. Similarly hand held electronic devices can interfere with melatonin production and disturb sleep. If they has to be used, switch night mode.
- Read: reading at bedtime lulls you to a comfortable mental state, thus helping sleep.
- Avoid afternoon naps : daytime naps, often called power naps are said to be productivity boosters. However, they can be counter productive as they disrupt the night sleep pattern. If such a nap is important, 20 min sleep is an ideal duration as deep sleep is prevented within that time.
- Melatonin supplements- it can be option to fall asleep faster and improve sleep. Please consult our functional medicine experts to know more.
- Following a regular sleeping schedule keeps the circadian rhythm of body in place and help sleep properly.
- Exercise- regular exercise in proper manner help improve sleep.
- Bedroom noise and temperature- experts say ideal bedroom temperature is 18 degree Celsius and it varies from person to person. The golden rule is you should neither feel too hot or too cold anytime during night. Also, bedroom should be devoid of any noises.
- Food- avoid alcohol, stimulants like caffeine, nicotine and heavy meals in the evening which can cause indigestion and flatulence that can hamper sleep. Evening meals should be light and a couple of hours before bedtime.
- Sleep on comfortable mattress and pillows.
Consult our wellness experts who will help you sleep better through customized programs at Modi Luxury Wellness Centre.