How long… Why aren’t you asleep? I don’t wanna go to sleep… …did you sleep… sleep evades me…. …last night? I gotta get some sleep. That… is an important question! ‘Kumbhakaran ki neend’ is an important and popular phrase in our culture. But the question is- are young Indians really getting enough sleep these days? No. Max Hospital in Delhi conducted an online survey in July, 2021. According to this survey, around 75% of young adults are having irregular sleep-wake cycles.
According to a survey conducted by Century Mattresses (an Indian mattress company), across 10 cities in India, They found that both young men and women sleep less than 7 hours a day in weekdays and weekends on average. Now, obviously, a mattress company would show in its survey that young Indians are not sleeping enough But there is other evidence to prove the same. According to a recent International sleep conference in Nagpur, the average sleeping hours per day has decreased globally and India stands second to last on the list.
The people in countries like UK, Australia and New Zealand are sleeping for more than 7 hours, In India, an average person is able to sleep for only 6 and a half hours. Basically, we are not sleeping enough. And this is important not just for us, but for our economy as well.
According to a recent study by RAND organization, USA, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia and Canada suffer an economic loss of around $700 billion every year, only because their citizens are sleeping less. And so sleeping enough is your duty for your country. Who would have thought that? So go to sleep – after this video! Because lack of sleep can lead to several health issues as well. Let us take the example of Vivek Gulati (29), a young marketing professional in Delhi NCR. He was convinced he led a healthy lifestyle — he didn’t smoke or drink, and also made it a point to work out daily.
And then one night, Vivek, who’s just 29, complained of chest pain. Doctors later diagnosed it as myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack. Dr Sameer Kubba , a famous cardiologist in Delhi, says that has seen several similar cases. He explains that several young patients are experiencing heart attacks. Many factors may lead to this, but sleep deprivation is the one that is least talked of. And that’s what we will talk about in this video One factor, that causes sleep deprivation in India, which we will talk about is global lifestyle.
Global lifestyle has many negatives – people are not sleeping enough because of it and it has positives as well- people are getting new economic opportunities.
First of all, let us understand the science of sleeping Experts believe that 95% of adults need to sleep 7 to 9 hours each night Most adults should be aiming for atleast 8 hours of sleep per night. Children, teenagers, and older adults (those between 50-60 years old) might even need more than 8 hours of sleep. Sleep serves multiple purposes that are essential to our brain and body. First, sleep helps in brain restoration. Recent research has suggested that sleep plays a role in cleaning out the brain each night.
During sleep, the size of our brain cells actually shrinks by 60%, allowing the brain’s waste-removal system, called the “glymphatic system” to essentially “take out the waste” more easily. What does that do? When you wake up in the morning, your brain feels refreshed. Second, sleep makes memory consolidation easier. You might have noticed that if you don’t sleep enough, it becomes difficult to remember things.
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To explain the importance of sleep, James Clear, an American journalist and author, who has written the popular book- Atomic habits, explained it through a very innovative way. He said- Imagine that your health and energy are a bucket of water. To function in your day-to-day life, you need to keep your bucket filled. Sleep, nutrition, laughter are some ways to keep the bucket filled. On the other end, there are forces that drain the water from your bucket For example, stress and anxiety.
If this bucket becomes empty, then chances of you becoming sick increase. Sleeping enough, therefore, is an important way to keep your bucket full. So now, hopefully, you understand why sleep is so important. Now let’s understand why are young Indians not sleeping enough. There are broadly 3 reasons The first reason is our global lifestyle. Thomas Edison, who invented the lightbulb, is majorly responsible for this.
Thomas Edison once said, “Sleep is a criminal waste of time, inherited from our cave days.” His invention helped people work more easily after dark and became more productive. Electricity and lighting changed people’s sleep habits in modern society. India has witnessed a rise in both electrifications as well as mobile phone access.
Due to this, the productivity of people has increased. But it is coming at a cost Sleep specialist Dr Vikram Sarabhai says that To become a part of the 24-hour society, Indians are not sleeping enough without realizing it There are also call-centre employees who work through the night, or professionals who work for late hours They have to compromise on sleep because of a global lifestyle Another reason is- Instagram! Dr Manju Pathak, professor of Biotechnology, Amity University, Noida, revealed in her recent research that social media usage is one of the most important factors affecting the sleep patterns of Indian youths.
For instance, a study conducted in Himachal Pradesh with over 1,400 college students revealed that more than 27% of participants admitted that have become addicted to social media sites. Dr Dhyan Singh’s research revealed that about 32% of students admitted that social media was the main reason for their sleep disorders Let me tell you something interesting. Just using phones is not the major problem.
But having phones in your bedroom while sleeping also impacts your sleep quality. A survey showed that over 90% of all bedrooms in metropolitan cities have a mobile phone. These self-lighting phones suppress a natural hormone called melatonin, that induces sleep. According to Dr P Vijaya Krishnan, When your sleep cycle is disturbed, then it could lead to diseases that could kill you. Also, its not just your lifestyle that affects your sleep.
The lifestyle of people around you also matters A survey by Dr. Manju Pathak reveals Around 22% of respondents reported that due to their roommates using lights, their sleep gets hampered as well. Apart from technology, the academic workload, and work pressure are important factors behind sleep disorders Koushik Muthuraja, a sleep specialist, says- At least 20-30% of children do not sleep enough due to pressure from school, peers and parents to perform well in academics.
Sekhar Borah, a 23-year-old who came to Delhi from Guwahati to prepare for the UPSC exam, says -“To put in more hours of studying, I started staying up till 4-5 am” due to which he does not get sound sleep. For working professionals, it is a similar reason. For instance, according to the Great Indian Sleeping Scorecard, 42% of people from Gurugram say work keeps them up till late every night – a 25% rise since 2020.
A major reason for the rising percentages in 2020-21 is Covid 19. Dr Sameer Malhotra, Director at Max Hospital said- The Covid 19 pandemic amplified the prevalence of anxiety and depression among adolescents. Due to work from home, many people are facing the pressure of managing their work, while also taking care of their children and their parents. And do not presume that sleep deprivation is a phenomenon just in urban India It is being observed in rural India as well.
A study in the University of Pennsylvania has shown that low-income workers in Chennai are getting only five to five-and-a-half hours of sleep every night The low income family members already bear the pressure of low income Additionally, they have to live in areas with more noise pollution. For example, exposure to aircraft noise disturbed the sleep of people living near an airport Lower-income groups residing near manufacturing facilities or a busy road can also be exposed to a similar effect.