Friday November 24, 2017

Sleep Deprivation: Why are Children Affected by it?

According to a survey, 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation

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Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Deprivation is becoming common among children. Pixabay
  • Sleep deprivation is becoming a common scenario nowadays
  • 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation
  • Sleep deprivation leads to poor attention and fall in academic performance of children

June 29, 2017: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sleep as the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. Proper sleep is an essential to maintain good health as it relaxes our body and freshens up the mind.

However, nowadays sleep deprivation (a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.) is becoming a common scenario, especially among children. According to a survey of National Sleep Foundation, 25 to 30 percent of normally developing children and adolescents are not getting enough sleep consistently.

The lack of sleep is leading to irritation, crankiness, poor social interactions, poor attention, worse grades and school absences amongst children.

Why are children sleep deprived?

  • Some children stay awake till late at night by personal choice. They choose to do so in order to complete their work or to have fun at night merely. Late night use of social media by adolescents has become a common phenomenon these days.
  • Some diseases such as cold and tonsillitis can cause snoring, gagging and frequent waking, and have a direct effect on sleep by fragmenting it.
  • Children can also be affected by sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Parasomnias or Behavioral Insomnia (Inability to sleep enough).
  • Some medications used to treat disorders such as epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause sleep deprivation.

ALSO READ: Muslim Women in India Can Become Change Agents With Education

  • The improper sleeping environment may also contribute to sleep deprivation. If the room is too hot or too cold or there is continuous noise, children find it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor habits such as late night coffee stimulate the nervous system and make sleep less likely.
  • Stress is a major contributor to sleep deprivation. Lying in bed and worrying causes tension rather than relaxation.

Effects of Sleep deprivation in children

According to a research of National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation results in children in:

  • Poor concentration leading to a fall in academic performance.
  • Chronically sleep-deprived teenagers become more impulsive leading to risk-taking behaviors.
  • Sleeping problems increase the risk of disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Children start getting negative feelings which may lead to depression.

By Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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Are you having Trouble Sleeping? These Insomnia-Inducing Habits Could be Blamed

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Sleeping
Are you having trouble in sleeping. Pixabay.

Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your mood and overall health. It is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Nowadays people are sleeping less than they did sleep in the past, and their natural sleeping pattern has been affected by various outside interferences.

It has been advisable to take a minimum of seven hours of sleep each day, unfortunately, we perform such activities before going to bed that restrains our mental state of mind from sleeping. Thereby, causing insomnia in our regular daily life. Below are the things that you do unintentionally and increase your own trouble before sleeping.

Using an Electronic Device/ Smartphone for texting or entertainment

Sleeping
Avoid the urge to text and use your smartphone while sleeping. Pixabay.

We often stick to our electronic device for the whole day making us continue with the same in the night before sleeping. Electronic devices like e-readers and smartphones, or even television can disrupt sleep if watched while or before sleep. Keep a note that you’re suffering from Nomophobia if you sleep with your phone in or near your bed and get the urge to use it. It disturbs your brain after you’ve already retired or fallen asleep.

Drinking Coffee/ Tea

Sleeping
Avoid intake of caffeine before sleeping. Pixabay.

Though you might love to drink a cup of coffee after your dinner, avoid it to the extreme extent. Coffee and tea contain stimulants of caffeine that disrupt your sleeping pattern. Do not intake caffeine after the evening if you desire to spend a peaceful night. Drink herbal tea which does not have composition of caffeine in it.

Eating chocolate

Chocolate is a rich source of caffeine, especially dark chocolate with high cocoa contents. If you are sensitive to caffeine, eating chocolate or drinking tea/ coffee might not do the desired role to keep you awake. Chocolates increase the heart rate, thereby affecting your sleep.

Skip your wind-down time

When you admit you can’t shut your mind off in bed, it’s often because you haven’t given yourself adequate time to rest and relax in the past hour. Take to bed after 30 minutes of your thought process of the day and put away anything that is provoking you and your night. To avoid any chaos, make to-do lists for the next day and plan up your day in advance.
Sleeping
Having Chocolate or heavy food should not be consumed before bedtime. Pixabay.

Checking your work email

The blue-light-emitting device can overstress your body affecting your sleeping rhythms, and force you to check your work emails repeatedly before bedtime. This kind of mental disturbing activity will make you nervous or agitated and also unfocused for the next morning.

Eating spicy or fatty foods

It is not preferable to have a large meal too close to bedtime else you are sure to feel uncomfortable while sleeping. Spicy or fatty foods are capable of refluxing the acids of our body which is processed easily when a person lies down at night. You should try to fix a proper time for your dinner at least two hours before sleeping to enhance the process of digestion.

Drinking Alcohol/ Smoking

Sleeping
Nicotine increases the risk of insomnia. Pixabay.
Alcohol does trick you into a drowsy state but as your body begins to metabolize the alcohol, you will feel the restlessness throughout the night and wake up tired with a dizzy and aching head. Smoking is injurious to health, we all are aware but it also disturbs your sleep. Nicotine acts a stimulant in your body worsening your insomnia. You need to consult a doctor for quitting nicotine consumption, be it traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smoking cessation patches, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.

Working out too intensely

Sleeping
Heavy Intensity workout may disrupt your sleeping pattern. Pixabay.
Exercising before bed is a healthy habit to promote your sleeping habits by treating insomnia. But to put your body into high-intensity exercise in the night does not affirm that you’ll have a great night. You need to have an early workout session to ensure your body has ceased from the energized stimulations at the gym.

Getting into a fight

Sleeping
Avoid fights causing stress before sleeping. Pixabay.
There’s a definite reason couples are advised to never go to bed angry. Stress causes insomnia, increasing your stress hormones like cortisol. So, avoid serious conversations for the night and discuss them in the other time of the day.

Alter your routine

You should follow a certainly specified routine of carrying out activities before bed on a fixed time. This ensures a good sleeping hygiene and sends your brain a signal that you are going to sleep in a rest awhile. Do not alter that consistent routine often to maintain a healthy mind and brain before and after sleeping.
 -Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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International Coffee Day: Let’s Debunk Some Coffee Myths

Debunking some coffee myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day

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International Coffee Day
Coffee. Pixabay

Oct 1, 2017: Who does not like waking up to the delicious aroma of coffee? Coffee has become one of the main constituents of people’s lives. Thus the International Coffee day celebrates coffee lovers all over the world. Coffee comes in several different types like a latte, cappuccino, espresso, iced, black, decaf and much more. No matter what type of coffee lover you are, International Coffee Day is always here to memorialize your affection for coffee.

Coffee has often symbolized the new beginnings of friendships and relationships. This brown liquid and its rich aroma have become the most favored drink worldwide. Recently people have started paying more attention to their health and have made a list of food that should and should not be consumed. Coffee often falls in the not to consume category. This is because of the several myths surrounding our favorite drink.

Let’s invalidate these myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day.

Coffee leads to insomnia

The first myth being that a cup of coffee in the afternoon will cause insomnia. The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine. Though it is true that too much of caffeine causes insomnia but if it is consumed in the afternoon, it is usually processed by the liver in 4 to 7 hours and is flushed out of the system, it cannot lead to insomnia. Even if the second cup coffee is consumed at 2 pm, it has already been flushed out of the body.

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Richness of Coffee. Pixabay

Coffee helps in losing weight

Another myth that is frequently associated with coffee is that drinking coffee helps in losing weight.  This may not be completely a myth according to some experts. The caffeine may lead to the slight rise in the metabolism, but it’s not enough for losing weight long term.  Experts have realized that coffee is not as harmful as they thought it to be.

Coffee sobers up drunkards

One of the myths that have recently made rounds with the coffee addicts is the fact that a cup of coffee sobers up drunken people. The direct answer to this myth would be no.  Coffee does not sober up drunken people. Though the caffeine may make the intoxicated person much more alert it does not reverse the effect of the alcohol.  This has been proved by the American Psychological Association. They report that “It is made worse for these people. People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine feel that they are competent enough to handle socially dangerous situations like drinking and driving.

Coffee increases height

The next myth that is famous among the coffee drinkers is the fact that coffee stunts the growth of an individual. There is no scientific evidence to prove that this is true. There have been cases where the coffee addicts have not grown more than 5 feet in height. This is mere coincidence and nothing else.  This is nothing but an urban legend and nobody knows how it came to existence.

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Coffee Beans. Pixabay

Caffeine is highly addictive

Last but not the least, there is a myth which says that caffeine is highly addictive and the withdrawal effects of caffeine are worse than the withdrawal effect of illegal narcotics.  The first part of the myth is partially true. Caffeine is not highly addictive but it is addictive to a certain extent. However, the second part of the myth is nothing but poppycock. The withdrawal symptoms of caffeine last only for two or three days maximum and extremely far from the withdrawal symptoms of the illegal drugs.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha of Newsgram

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Treating insomnia in young people can ease mental health problems like Anxiety, Depression: Study

The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal

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A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. VOA

London, USA, September 7, 2017: Treating young people who suffer from insomnia by using online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could reduce debilitating mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, scientists said Wednesday.

In a large trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, researchers at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute also found that successfully treating sleep disruption eased psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and paranoia.

“Sleep problems are very common in people with mental health disorders, but for too long insomnia has been trivialized as merely a symptom, rather than a cause, of psychological difficulties,” said Daniel Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology who led the work.

“This study turns that old idea on its head, showing that insomnia may actually be a contributory cause of mental health problems.”

The research involved 3,755 university students from across Britain who were randomized into two groups. One group had six sessions of online CBT, each lasting about 20 minutes, and delivered via a digital program called Sleepio. The others had access to standard treatments but no CBT.

Freeman’s team monitored participants’ mental health with a series of online questionnaires at zero, three, 10 and 22 weeks from the start of treatment.

The researchers found that those who had the CBT sleep treatment reduced their insomnia significantly as well as showing small but sustained reductions in paranoia and hallucinatory experiences.

The CBT also led to improvements in depression, anxiety, nightmares, psychological well-being, and daytime work and home functioning.

Andrew Welchman, head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust health charity, which helped fund the research, said the results suggested improving sleep may provide a promising route into early treatment to improve mental health.

Freeman added: “A good night’s sleep really can make a difference to people’s psychological health. Helping people get better sleep could be an important first step in tackling many psychological problems and emotional problems.” (VOA)