World Sleep Day: Kill insomnia before it kills you
Not sleeping doesn't necessarily mean being more productive. Bill Gates sleeps for 7+ hours every night and Elon Musk ensures to get a six-hour shuteye daily. According to Forbes, Gates' net worth is $91.4 billion and Musk's $20.5 billion. In fact, not getting proper sleep significantly reduces efficiency, ask insomniacs. This World Sleep Day, we therefore attack the beast we're all fighting - insomnia.
You have insomnia if you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep despite a conducive environment. Depending on the duration, it can be characterized into: Acute: It's brief and is caused by stressful life situations such as exams, death of a relative, accidents. Chronic: When you have disrupted sleep for at least three nights a week for over a minimum of three months.
According to a 2016 study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Belgium, Netherlands and New Zealand are the world's most well-rested countries. Their people sleep for at least eight hours daily. Interestingly, they are also among the happiest nations in the world, as per UN's World Happiness Report. Your takeaway? If you desire success, wealth and health, sleep well.
Though mental and physical disorders can also lead to chronic insomnia, here we look at lifestyle behaviors that most commonly trigger it: *Irregular sleep times: Common among shift workers or those with an undisciplined lifestyle. It disrupts your body clock and can lead to long-term diseases. *Troublesome food habits: Excessive/untimely consumption of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and heavy meals wreck your sleep.
According to a recent survey led by Philips India, 60% Indians think exercise is more important than sleep for good health. 32% blamed technology for poor sleep, 19% held irregular work hours responsible. 45% tried mediation and 24% specialized bedding for improving sleep quality.
*Fix a timeslot for sleep and stick to it daily, including weekends. *Meditate and exercise. A tired body and calm mind act as catalysts. *Refrain from looking at screens (smartphone/laptop/TV) in the last hour before bed. *A warm shower, dipping feet in lukewarm water, early light dinners and drinking warm milk also help. *If you are taking pills, check if they're affecting your sleep.
Hosted by the World Sleep Society since 2007, the day is observed globally every year on the Friday before annual Spring Vernal Equinox. Its date changes accordingly. It aims to raise awareness on the importance of sleep and champions better prevention/management of related disorders.