Lack of sleep major cause for several lifestyle disorders including Type 2 diabetes and infertility

12:29 pm Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

At least 6 to 7 hours of sleep are needed for optimal body functioning

New Delhi, 18 March 2019: More than 80% of those suffering from shift work sleep disorder are from the IT and BPO sector, according to recent estimates. This is because they work in the same shifts, disrupting their sleep pattern. Shift Work Sleep Disorder occurs when the body’s internal biological clock gets altered or confused. While there are many professionals who work at night, it is the employees of the IT sector who are the most affected, mainly due to the regular night shift patterns.

For those with this sleep disorder, the symptoms are like chronic jet lag. Irritability, anxiety and depression are among the symptoms. The hormonal cycle is messed up. We are noticing menstrual irregularities among women and infertility among men.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Majority of the Indian population remains unaware of the fact that common ailments such as obesity, depression, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease are all linked to an irregular sleep pattern. Sleep deprivation also is a key influencer of stressed relationships, decreased performance at school and work, accidental injuries, memory and cognitive impairment and a poor quality of life. It is thus essential that awareness be raised about good sleep habits and the importance of getting adequate sleep. The present generation is mostly found sleeping only for 3 to 5 hours in a day and then compensating their sleep requirements by sleeping for 14 hours on the weekends. This is extremely dangerous for their overall health. They also depend on caffeine and energy drinks to stay awake, which impact their overall cognitive ability.”

A recent study also indicates that people working irregular or rotating shifts with usual night shifts were 44% more likely to have Type 2 diabetes. In addition, compared to day workers, all shift workers were more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, except for permanent night shift workers.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The time has come for each one of us to be cautious about the impact our day to day actions have on our health and take necessary preventive measures. Sleeping well and on time is a harm reduction methodology as it can help avoid many diseases and health complications over time.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day — at the very least, on weekdays. If need be, use weekends to make up for lost sleep.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy.
  • Banish the television, computer, smartphone or tablet, and other diversions you’re your bedroom
  • Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. But naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night and throw your sleep schedule into disarray.
  • If you need to nap, limit it to 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon and go light on alcohol. Caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours. Alcohol can act as a sedative, but it also disturbs sleep.
  • Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime. Exercise acts as a short-term stimulant.

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