Let’s Hail the World Sleep Day

“Sleep is the Golden chain that ties health and our bodies together” Thomas Dekker
At 7.00AM the alarm clock on Sunita’s bedside rang. She saw the time. “Was it 7am already”, she wondered. She was still feeling drowsy. The previous night she had gone to bed early but lay awake most part of it. How was she going to face the enormous workload at home and the strict taskmaster at her office? How many of us are in this similar predicament as Sunita who needs a good sleep badly.

Well! Before I carry on any further, let me try to shed light on the nuances of the ‘World Sleep Day’ and why it is necessary to support it! Observed on the 17th of March this year, this global annual event brings into focus all the niceties of good sleep and the possible health problems that might surface if one is deprived of it.  Organized by the World association of sleep medicine (WASM), its main goal is to create awareness about the prevention and management of sleep disorders.

Now, let us see some facts about sleep disorders:
·        Sleep disorders are about a hundred in number.
·        Studies reveal that Insomnia, a major sleep disorder, strikes about 30-45% of the adult population.
·        Another alarming fact is that sleep deprivation for 18 hours is as good as having blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 which is as good as being drunk.
·        Drowsy driving has attributed to about 1,550 fatal injuries and 40,000 non- fatal injuries in a developed country such as the United States.

Naturally our next question will be how to get good sleep and how to prevent the alarming rate of growing disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea! Here are some tips from experts:
·        Sticking to a sleeping schedule even during weekends is a must which means late nights should be avoided as far as possible.
·        Having light dinners is always preferable to get a good night’s sleep.
·        Too much liquid should be avoided before bed time as it may lead to frequent trips to the bathroom thus causing a disruptive sleep.
·        Caffeine being an additive stimulant is an enemy to a good sleep and should be strictly avoided at least 5-6 hours before bedtime.
·        Regular physical workouts always give you a big support to a sound slumber.
·        Optimal temperature settings and well ventilated room while going to sleep will always help.
·        Sticking on to a ritual like brushing teeth and taking a hot water bath to relax tense muscles is always a good option.
·        Modern gadgets are the greatest enemy of your beauty sleep. As far as possible keep those away from your place of taking rest.
·          Hot milk, being a good sleep enhancer, is advisable to have at bedtime.
·        Visualizing repetitive mindless things may help your brain to instantly shut down and fall into deep slumber.

For your information, released by the national sleep foundation (USA), according to age, the optimal sleep ranges to remain refreshed throughout the day is as follows:
·        Newborns (0-3 months):  14-17 hours each day
·        Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
·        Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
·        Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13hours
·        School age children (6-13):  9-11 hours
·        Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
·        Younger adults (18-25):  7-9 hours
·        Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
·        Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Well! All said and done, let us join hands in contributing to create awareness amongst us about the importance of sleep and hail the world sleep day to make this life more beautiful. Knowing its niceties will go a long way in improving our life style in the right direction.  Happy ‘World sleep Day’!