Get that much-needed shuteye!

Get that much-needed shuteye!

Many teenagers these days experience insomnia due to constant distractions

Get that much-needed shuteye!

Sleeplessness is often due to stress. But what if it isn’t? What if you get addicted
to doing fun things, keep postponing sleep and then at one point, become an insomniac?

Teenagers are constantly on their laptops, iPads and mobiles, chatting, watching movies or texting. Their need for social networking seems to coincide with their need for sleep.
Many teenagers today experience slight insomnia. Saaniya Zaveri, a communications student, says, “What I have is every teenager’s version of insomnia. I can’t sleep because of the million distractions around me. With BlackBerry Messenger, Whatsapp, TV shows and Facebook, who can sleep?”

The many distractions do hinder sleep.  Huma Hussain, another youngster, says, “My inability to sleep started around four years ago. It is mainly because the internet is so interesting and I waste most of my time on it.”

Like many other students, it started with studying late at night or procrastination. “I got used to it. It’s only a problem when I have to be in class early or somewhere else,” she adds.

Some are not entirely insomniac but still experience sleeplessness on and off. Sanithra Raju, an interior design student, says, “I started having problems with sleep a few weeks ago. I think it’s because of stress and tension about various things like coursework and future.”  

Teenagers are not the only ones affected.  The changed lifestyles and stiff competition in all fields probably add to this. Lalitha Murthy, a counsellor, says, “I think it’s because of the lifestyle that teenagers lead nowadays. The biological clockwork is all wrong. There is also excessive stress of achievement.”

She says she hasn’t had any teen patients with sleeping problems but she does often note “irritability, droopy eyes and low attention”, the tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation.
Another side effect of an erratic sleep pattern is weight gain.

Sleepless nights are often followed by excessive eating or eating junk food the next day. Physical exercise during the day can break the cycle of insomnia.

Most of all, resist the temptation to stay up late and talk, Skype, text someone, watch that TV show, or whatever it is that seems more interesting than sleep.
Lack of sleep can also mean low energy levels. If you don’t snooze, you lose!