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Why Are The Younger Generations More Prone To Insomnia?

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Insomnia affects a large proportion of the population on a contingent, periodic and habitual or recurrent basis. It is a common problem in today’s world, leading to exasperation, pique, displeasure, and lethargy. The persistent sleeping disorder could be linked with adverse health complications like weight gain, digestive problems and it can lead to sleep apnea, narcolepsy and parasomnias like nightmares and bedwetting.

For almost 2 decades, influential developments in analysis and indicative standards have inflamed a shift from merely an indication based perception to the realisation of insomnia as a disorder in its own right. Professional gurus say reasons may vary from person to person, but the common causes include stress, irregular sleeping schedule, poor sleeping habits, anxiety, depression, physical illnesses, pain, medication, neurological problems and the most important is excessive attention to the use of mobile phones till late night.

This alluring impact of gadgets like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc., has propelled people to stay awake for longer durations at night. The Covid-19 pandemic has also changed people’s normal sleep patterns, especially among students who stay at home and tend to sleep during the day, which means a disturbance to the normal sleep pattern.

Insomnia
Obstacles in falling asleep may be principally or essentially due to psychological and experimental factors.

I experienced this problem when I moved from Delhi to Kashmir (from 2G to 4G life). I became a pathological internet user, which induced poor sleep quality, lower levels of physical work or activity and health problems like migraines and obesity.

My internal clock was disrupted, and I developed a circadian rhythm sleep, which further exacerbated the health effects of sleep deprivation. This addiction hindered my studies and long-term goals which ultimately lead to depression, anxiety and stress.

Obstacles in falling asleep may be principally or essentially due to psychological and experimental factors such as nervousness or anxiety in bed or having contradictory or senseless intentions or outlooks of sleep duration. Researchers believe that these superfluous and unreasonable predictions about sleep loss, sooner or later, become constant and grant motorised nocturnal cause for anxiety and insight.

Also, the doomed pursuits to control reflections, illustrations and sentiments only impair the situation. When the rhythm or period is ingrained, the sleeping disorder becomes a self-accomplished prognostication that can linger sine die. Other practices in the bedroom that are irreconcilable are talking on the telephone till midnight, watching movies or serials, playing games, eating and smoking.

Sleep is as necessary as oxygen to the body. It rebuilds physical energy, overhauls damaged tissues and revitalises the mind. Not taking the appropriate volume or quality sleep undergoes more than just feeling distressed and drained. It exasperates emotional or mental function, can lead to learning impairments (especially in children), personality changes and mortification.

It affects the younger generation the most, who are underprivileged of sleep. They experience complications in building or making judgements, have problems with achievements, and slower reaction times, laying them at peril for automobile or work-related accidents. The younger generations, like me, face this problem severely and it affects the quality of life so often and so sorely that it can disrupt thinking, weight, studies, mental health, etc.

Sleep deprivation
Our health and quality of life depend on good sleep for almost 7 to 8 hours.

The National health policy of India fails to address the critical issues of the requirement of adequate sleep. Some statistics show the high prevalence of insomnia and recorded 25–30% in the urban population.

Someone who toils with insomnia doesn’t ponder to share with their healthcare provider. Our health and quality of life depend on good sleep for almost 7 to 8 hours. Healthcare workers can perform a physical exam and identify the complications.

Nowadays, electronic gadgets can be used to measure your quality of sleep and you can keep a diary for 3 to 4 weeks which may be helpful to share your data with a medical specialist. Suppose your medical specialist suspects that you have dysfunctional sleep cognition. In that case, the practitioner may refer you to a sleep disorder clinic where a sleep specialist will scrutinise your symptoms and may advocate that you undergo a sleep study.

Insomnia or sleeping disorder incorporates an omnipresent or ubiquitary band of syndromes that have influential and relevant emanation for an individual’s health and material outlays to society.

The investigation and interpretation of sleep disorders require careful history taking and clinical testing. Even though natural protocols in management for the more common and crucial sleep disorders and analysis needs to be tailored to the individual patient.

Forecast for good sleep may be developed by creating an optimal sleep environment like a comfortable, cool and quiet bedroom, thinking positive and avoiding going to bed with a negative mindset, not watching television, placing your mobile away from the bedroom, establishing a regular bedtime, a relaxing routine each night like taking a warm bath, not watching the clock, limiting naps to less than 1 hour, avoiding caffeine intake or chocolates or heavy meals and avoiding smoking and alcohol.

The Holy Quran says the movement of day and night is not just the alternation of darkness and brightness in our lives but also the coming of the darkness daily, which means we should lie down. The coming of light does not only mean the sun has risen, but it means that we are fresh after taking a rest and are ready to face the challenges of life.

But our lifestyle has changed altogether. Now people like to stay awake till late and sleep half a day. This is against what the Holy Quran says. Medical science has also rejected this lifestyle because it causes a great imbalance in our lifestyle and adversely affects our health.

ALLAH says in the Holy Quran that he has created night for rest and day for work. “It is he who has appointed the night a covering for you and sleep for a rest. The day he has appointed for rising.” (Surah Furqan: 47)

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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