Missing On A Sound Sleep? Here”s What Could Happen And What You Must DO

Posted on January 15, 2011 in Health and Life

By Rohit Singh:

The various mornings, afternoon and evening shifts running across India promise a salary and perks that can put any graduate or post-graduate on the seventh cloud — but is the youth missing something really important? While the brighter side of adjusting the biological clock of the body according to the job requirements ensures a good salary and may be some wider scope of better opportunities in the field of the respective career but not even the most contemplative people take any action even  after knowing the side — effects of playing the cards against nature.

In a bid to capture the lucrative lifestyle most of the youngsters miss on a sound sleep due to either work or late night parties, small children miss on their sleep due to television, social networking on internet,etc. The following are the ill effects of not sleeping properly and in-time:

  1. The immune efficiency automatically lowers down. The immune system produces lower infection fighting bodies called white blood cells. The body becomes vulnerable to common flues, infections, etc. Sleep deprivation affects how well the body fights infections and determines how well the body produces antibodies after a vaccination. While a person is sleeping, the body produces cytokines, chemicals that help the immune system fight off infection and disease.
  2. Chronic sleep loss could both hasten and increase the severity of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body produces more stress hormones and other substances that would increase inflammation, which increases the risks of heart disease and stroke. People who get less than five hours of sleep each night also have two and a half times the risk of getting diabetes when compared to people that sleep for seven or eight hours each night. Not getting enough of deep sleep decreases the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels.
  3. After about 18 hours without sleep, the reaction time of human body slows down from a quarter of a second to half a second. At 20 hours, the reaction speed of human body becomes more or less equivalent to someone with a 0.08% blood alcohol level.
  4. Other side effects include: Mood deterioration, reduced alertness and concentration, memory problems, and lowered creativity. Women that get less than five hours of sleep each night are more likely to develop hypertension, which is a leading cause of heart disease.

Few tips which help in getting a good sleep are:-

  1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. Caffeine and nicotine can delay your sleep, and alcohol may interrupt your sleep later in the night.
  2. If you have trouble sleeping when you go to bed, don’t nap during the day, since it affects your ability to sleep at night.
  3. Exercise regularly, but do so at least three hours before bedtime. A workout after that time may actually keep you awake because your body has not had a chance to cool down.
  4. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that will allow you to unwind and send a “signal” to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Avoiding exposure to bright light before bedtime and taking a hot bath may help.
  5. Consider your sleep environment. Make it as pleasant, comfortable, dark and quiet as you can. If you can’t go to sleep after 30 minutes, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. Get up and involve yourself in a relaxing activity, such as listening to soothing music or reading, until you feel sleepy.
  6. Remember: Try to clear your mind; don’t use this time to solve your daily problems.

The more sharpened an axe is, the better it chops. Similarly, the more relaxed the human body and mind are, the better they perform and nothing other than a sound sleep relaxes the body and mind better. So, its time to act smart and bid a farewell to late night fun and chats and irregular, unhealthy lifestyle and keep the biological clock running on time.

Image courtesy.