by Ranabir Bhattacharyya | 09 APR 2018
Insomnia or sleeplessness has become a common feature in modern day life. Be it students or young professionals, due to various stress related issues; an unhealthy lifestyle has become too mainstream too days. With little or no physical activity or social activity, it is indeed an unbearable situation to deal with stress and sleeplessness is a direct impact to such. In India, more than 70% students do not get the required seven hours of sleep in weeks before terminal or board examinations.
For young professionals, the situation is pathetic to say the least. Month after month, be a doctor or engineer or an individual from any profession, insomnia has become a normal feature where people work till late hours or party and then gears up for early morning schedule. With changing lifestyle, people now spend more time in social media interactions and on computers and smart phones and the normal sleeping habit has changed drastically.
Interestingly, people with loneliness can feel loneliness to some extent. Many people don’t talk about sleep troubles as they accept to be part of their lives or believe they can cope with it on their own. Insomnia tells upon one’s health, reduces concentration, perseverance and also increases irritability along with poor performance.
Daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation, and irregular sleep schedules are very common in case of doctors as they have varying schedules. For individuals working in shifts also face the same scenario. The problem with doctors is, in case of emergency, there is no pre-fixed schedule. In this regard it is important to analyse the primary processes which govern how much sleep is obtained, namely the homeostatic sleep drive and the circadian rhythm. According to Dr. A. Suresh Kumar, Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai,” Insomnia can be primary which needs a complete evaluation before arriving at that diagnosis. The prevalence of primary insomnia is very rare . Secondary insomnia stems from stressors coexisting depression.
The primary insomniacs are difficult to treat as they have been through many sleep centres andpossible therapy. Then there is a group called short term insomnia which is commonly associated with temporary work stress and exams, deadlines etc. There is no need to use drug therapy in these students as it is short term and stress related. We recommend them to have a balance of physical activity along with studies so that the stress is reduced by physical activity (game, walk, cycling) and also enhances natural sleep. The primary therapy for most secondary insomnia is non pharmacological, sleep hygiene measures, relaxation therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy followed by treatment with drug therapy with medication and treatment for depression of present.”
Nowadays, people are advised to follow a consistent bedtime routine. It is important to establish a relaxing setting at bedtime. Getting a full night’s sleep every night is mandatory and one must avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime. The doctors also advice to not bring worries to bed and going hungry before sleep is absolutely no. It is also advisable to avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of stipulated bedtime. If possible, it is imperative to make bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool. Getting up at the same time every morning can be a useful tip to tackle insomnia. For doctors themselves, power naps can be useful and maintaining good habit is mandatory.
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