World Sleep Day: ‘Sleep Well, Grow Healthy’

A good night’s sleep is essential for physical, mental and emotional health and living a good life.  Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep (quantity or quality of sleep) is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, lowered immunity and endocrine problems along with depression, lack of concentration, irritability and mood swings.

Sleep problems affect quality of life for up to 45% of world’s population and is a major public health concern.

Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet because of lack of awareness only few seek professional help. Awareness about health effects of lack or disturbed sleep should be raised in general public especially students, BPO industry workers, transport services. Medical practitioners should be trained for diagnosis of sleep related disorders.

Poor sleep may be due to obstructive sleep apnea, poor life style, anxiety, depression etc. Snoring could be an indication of sleep apneas but usually ignored or discussed as a fun.

Watching television and using computers and mobile phones at night can prevent getting enough sleep.

WSD (World Sleep Day) 2011 is being held on March 18th, under the slogan ‘Sleep Well, Grow Healthy’. This year’s theme highlights the importance of sleep for all ages.

Sleep Hygiene: Healthy Sleeping Practices (How to sleep Well?)

  1. Set up biological clock, Fix time to sleep and time to get up.  Follow age old saying “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.  It holds true scientifically.
  2. Exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet
  3. Limit daytime naps to 30-45 minutes.
  4. Avoid tea, coffee, chocolates and smoking 6 hours before bed time.
  5. Avoid heavy and spicy food, sweets and alcohol 4 hours before bedtime
  6. Avoid watching horror or action movies before going to bed.
  7. Avoid exercising just before bed.
  8. Wear loose comfortable clean cloths
  9. Use comfortable clean bedding.
  10. Keep the room well ventilated,  free from noise.
  11. Go to bed when you feel like sleeping.
  12. Reserve bed for sleeping, avoid working or studying in bed.

Sleep related problems and sleep apnea apnea can have serious significant complications yet vast majority remain undiagnosed and untreated because of lack of awareness by the parents and health care providers.

Snorer with excessive daytime sleepiness or lack of concentration,  and all children with ADHD, behavioral problems & poor academic performances should be assessed for sleep problems.


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