Sunday May 27, 2018

Are you sleeping right? Here are 11 facts about sleep from the doctor himself


By Dr. J.K. Bhutani

After good stomach (appetite), good SLEEP is a fairly good indicator of sound health.

We all need sleep, as much as we need food, water and oxygen to survive, propagate and work effectively as a human race. Good natural sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being.
We need sleep as much, for a variety of benefits and functions of brain and body, as we need it to connect with the piety GODLY soul in us all and for much of our dreamy-worlds, fantasies and aspirations.

The intended ‘night-time benefits’ are built in our species survival and adaptation to the DIURNAL rhythm of the planet mother-EARTH. Human sleep and wakefulness periods follow a natural, circadian rhythm influenced by external environmental cues, most important being the sunlight.

  1. The photosensitive-retinal-ganglion cells have a pigment melanopsin, which, after getting activated by light, regulates the synthesis of MELATONIN, the sleep hormone from pineal gland. This neurohormone, along with other endorphins and well-being hormones, plays an important role in sleep-awake cycle and circadian rhythms.


  1. There doesn’t seem to be any one system-organ-tissue-cell or the micro-organelles (cilia, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria etc) within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally ENHANCED by sleep, and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough of it.


  1. Sleep enhances the learning capability, helps cement recent memory, erase the superfluous or erratic and re-energizes the emotional circuits to cope effectively with unpleasant emotion, grief or loss.


  1. SLEEP boosts our immune system to ward off or fight infections, sickness, to keep malignancy away and also optimises our body’s energy balance, glucose-insulin responses and our food assimilation eventually. Weight-obesity-Hypertension and Cardiovascular diseases are proven outcomes of sleep deprivations, studies show.


  1. Sleep, analysed scientifically, consists of 4 phases. From Awake to Light/NREM(Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement), to Deep/REM and repeat. These cycles are of 90-120 minutes and we need 3-4 such cycles normally. The NREM or light sleep refreshes our body-muscles-physique and NREP sleep energizes our brain. Both light and deep sleeps are needed for the optimal body-mind functions.


  1. Our current PERCEPTIONS and PRIORITIES regarding sleep, its need, nature and quality are not healthy and are rather cynical of its INEVITABLE NEED and quality. We all need 7-8 hours of sleep, different from infants who may sleep for 14-16 hrs and adolescents who may need 10 hours for optimal growth.


  1. The sleep has to be natural too for the intended benefits. WE need to ADOPT and develop significantly better methods for creating NATURAL sleep as the sedatives-alcohol or tranquilizers do not give WHAT a natural wink, short nap or even one cycle of 2hrs sleep can. Alcohol may appear to allow people to fall asleep quicker but it reduces the REM sleep and thus, is not energising for the brain.


  1. Lack of REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and much of the hangover phenomenon symptoms. While sedatives and tranquilizers may be a sleep aid in insomnia patients, but they have less rejuvenating and restorative sleep benefits. They also have a potential to cause addiction, substance abuse and often hamper with respiratory muco-ciliary clearance and are often associated with many health problems. The litany of benefits of the natural sleep are legion and need to be propagated with same fervour as are the benefits of organic foods in the public perceptions.

SLEEP – hygiene is a collection habits and practices conducive to sleeping naturally and well on a regular basis. Some STEPS which can help are listed below.


  1. Try honouring the body sleep schedule/ rhythm, even on weekends and travel days. A routine of physical exercise helps release endorphins and wellness hormone which can help induce natural sleep.


  1. Keep electromagnetic away for at least 2 hrs before sleep time. All LED bulbs, laptops, tablets, cell phones, LED TVs and even LED digital clocks can affect melatonin production and potentially mess with your sleep cycles. A relaxing thought-meditations or a story book is a better option.


  1. Have a comfortable temperature, good mattress-pillow and clean bedroom ambience.
    Avoid tea/coffee/ stimulant energy drinks and alcohol. And having a firm belief in the goodness and hope helps.

SLEEP, if called a THIRD PILLAR of sound health after diet and exercise, should be APT!


Dr J.K. Bhutani, MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self-healing powers of human organism. Twitter: @drjkbhutani

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Next Story

Salary hike correlated to ease of falling asleep: Survey

The survey, conducted across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, indicates that there is also a direct correlation between productivity and sleep.

To track poor sleep, the surveys asked questions about the frequency of insomnia, restless sleep and sleep disturbances.
Falling asleep is directly related to salary of a person. Wikimedia Commons
  • Your salary and sleep may be connected
  • High salary means more ease while falling asleep
  • the survey also shows at what time people go to bed usually in different cities

Having trouble sleeping? Your salary might be one of the reasons behind it. There is a direct correlation between increasing salary and ease of falling asleep, according to a survey.

Listening to white sounds can helps us to get oriented towards calm thoughts
High salary means more ease at falling asleep.

The India Sleep and Wellness survey, released ahead of the World Sleep Day, was commissioned by Sunday Mattresses and was conducted among 345 working professionals above the age of 25, read a statement.

The survey, conducted across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, indicates that there is also a direct correlation between productivity and sleep.

Also Read: Sleep spindles may help in improving memory retention

Over two-thirds of the sound sleepers believe they are 100 per cent productive at work. whereas more than half of those who reported getting insufficient sleep, believed they were only 75 per cent (or less) productive.

People below the age group of 30 sleep better compared to those who are older. Adults over 30 are twice as likely to have sleep-related problems and adults over 45 years are three times more likely to have sleep-related issues. Almost 40 per cent of people use an alarm to wake up. This is significantly high in Mumbai where 50 per cent of the respondents use an alarm on a daily basis.

Sleeping is very important for one’s mental and physical health.

People in Bengaluru go to bed the earliest (between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.), whereas Mumbai has the highest proportion of night owls who sleep after midnight. Bengaluru also has a better record of falling asleep as compared to Delhi and Mumbai and this is mainly attributed to relatively lower noise levels.

The research demonstrates that people who eat less than two hours before going to sleep are 50 percent more likely to have sleep-related issues. IANS