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September 28, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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How sleep disorders affect mental and physical health? Ayush doctors have the answers.
Sleep is a spontaneous, routine and essential body activity in all living beings.
In the last few years people across age groups and health conditions suffer some degree of sleep impairment. The numbers are increasing alarmingly signaling an overall social malaise.
Addressing this emerging health trend Sona Medical College of Naturopathy and Yoga organized a Q&A session under its on-going talk series.
We present here some experts of the lively discussion between participants and Ayush medical experts.
Is sleeplessness a disorder or disease?
According to Dr.Kalpana Devi, Professor, Physiology, Sona Medical College of Naturopathy and Yoga, sleeplessness is more a disorder than a disease. Food and mental states like stress are major causes of sleeplessness but off late physical and psychological reasons like over-thinking, frustrations, dominate over other causes.
Which of the two- lack of sleep during night or sleeping in day time, can be termed as in-somania?
Some fall asleep immediately after hitting the bed. Sleeping within 10 or 15 minutes after going to bed is normal. But some wake up in the midst of sleep and find it difficult to get back to sleep. If this disturbed pattern is recurrent, the person may seek medical advice.
Ideal sleep duration?
As regards duration of sleep is concerned, children up to 2 years would require 15 to 18 hours of sleep. 10 to 12 years old kids would require `10 to 12 hours of sleep a day. For youth from 18 years up 6 to 8 hours of sleep is quite sufficient but if you are a yoga practitioner, you can stay fresh with mere 4 hours of quality sleep. Sleep quality is as vital a metric as its duration says Dr.Kalpana Devi.
If a person chronically stays awake till 2.00 a.m we have to observe whether the person goes back to sleep. Sleep routine has to be mapped. The underlying cause could be problem in the endocrine gland or due to diabetes which needs to be established said, Dr.Janani Priya, Homeopathy specialist, Sona Ayush,Multispeciality Centre, Salem.
Sleep and health
Dr.S.Madhan, Principal, Sona Medical College of Naturopathy and Yoga pointed out that 50 years back when there was no electricity or several modern appliances and gadgets, people could go to sleep at 8.00 p.m and get up at 4.00 p.m . However in the present days, more number of people go to sleep between 2 to 3.00 p.m which are signs of lack of body and mind stability. People in the olden days could sleep early because of the natural tendency of the body to produce melatonin a harmone when the sunlight goes down in the evening.
A circadian rhythm or circadian cycle, is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. This cycle is affected due to irregular sleep habits. Simple Yoga technqiues can help restore mental causes of sleep disorders she said.
“Sleep is vital for all body organs to work in a synchronized manner and in harmony. Good appetite too good sleep is necessary,” said Dr.Janani Priya. Yoga and medicines can help restore sleep imbalances she added.
What about sleeping in day time?
Dr.M.N Naveen, Ayurvedhic doctor at Sona Ayush Multispeciality Centre opines that there is nothing wrong in sleeping during daytime of the person works in night shifts. However the person should take light food to ensure quality day time sleep to compensate for the night sleep loss.
Does lack of sleep lead to heart disease?
Chances are more for sleeplessness leading to heart ailments. Lack of sleep triggers lack of concentration, focus which lead to anxiety and heart disorders said Dr.Kalpana.
Does sleep affect intelligence
Dr.Kalpana strongly believes in the relationship between lack of sleep and lack of focus, concentration and power of the brain to retain whatever is read or observed. Good sleep helps improve all these necessary conditions for improved intelligence. The jerk of feeling of falling from a height during sleep is caused due to over brain activity. It may affect intelligence of it occurs frequently.
Sleep and food
To get good sleep, good food intake and life style are essential. Ayush experts recommend avoidance of heavy food in the night. Heavy food if taken in the night will cause indigestion and induce burning sensation and would disturb sleep says Dr.Madhan.
Heavy eating can divert brain’s focus on digestion and therby induce dullness and sleepy feeling.
Dr.Kalpana suggests avoidance of non-vegetarian food in the nights and vegetarians may avoid dhal. Instead rasam based food is found more light. Ideally it is better to have 2 hours gap between dinner and going to sleep.
Developing healthy routine.
Dr.Janani Priya advices to avoid too much thinking while going to sleep. “Remove mobile phone, laptop, TV and all distractions and keep the bedroom dark. This will ensure good sleep and waking-up fresh. She even suggests keeping alarm for going to sleep as we do for waking in the morning. It may take about two months for the body clock to adjust to the alarm timings, she said.
Taking warm milk mixed with turmeric and nutmeg induces sleep especially for the elderly. Along with ageing comes insomnia which could be related to other health conditions.
There are medicines for dreams
Do you know that medicines can alter dream patterns? According Dr.Janani, Somanambulance, shouting or talking loud during sleep is believed to be a habit. But it in reality it is due to subconscious fears. Recurrent disturbances during sleeps need to be addressed medically. “There are fine medicines in homeopathy that can alter dreams”, said Dr Janani Priya. She also stresses upon quality of sleep which can be measured in-terms of time taken to fall asleep.
Role of gadgets in sleep disorders
Dr.S.Madhan strongly relates a host of mental problems, like, loss or memory, loss of sensitivity to social and family relations, feeling of depression and frustration to indiscriminate mobile phone use. The prevalent social media culture of instant likes and shares as social recognitions leads to feeling of failure and artificial sense of success and security. Sleep is affected due to energy diversion and these mental state in-turn affect day time alertness and overall health.
The session had instant relaxation techniques taught to the participants. Yoga based solutions to address underlying psychological conditions were highlighted too.