The plague of sleeplessness

The plague of sleeplessness

Late to bed, early to rise did not make man healthy, wealthy or wise. That’s the motto that seems to speak the truth about the new generation of teenagers who are self-proclaimed insomniacs in their own right.

Teenagers in the City are suffering from fatigue, health problems, falling grades, sleep disorders, falling concentration levels and other problems that their parents never had to deal with when they were that age. The current sleep cycles seems to be plaguing the young in more ways than one. But who is to blame for this trend?

“Children from the upper strata of society waste their heavy pocket money on clubs and alcohol. In upper middle class families, on the other hand, pressure of grades in school and the internet are the reasons for habitual insomnia among teenagers. As a parent of a teenager, I see many of them lead a busy life with school and daily tuitions. They work late into the night to finish assignments,” notes Subhashini Chandramani, a mother.  

According to her, the smell of fresh paper in a book and the invigorating energy that comes with physical games are being sought in e-books and online games. A lot of mothers in the City share similar sentiments.

The angry mother goes on to say, “I should blame education, technology and waning of old habits as the reasons for rising insomniacs. The growing social media world and its availability on smart phones, online chatting and games remove any sense of time.”
The fact must be accepted — most teenagers tend to like sleeping late. Technologies of different sorts are so incorporated in every teenager’s lifestyle that it’s too late to kill the addiction.

“I hear of many parents complaining that when their child wakes up in the morning for school or college, they feel sleep deprived and lethargic. Irregular sleeping patterns lead to fatigue, which in turn can lead to memory loss, inadequate performance, irritability and even anger outbursts,” says Dr Meenakshi, who has noticed this trend.

She has also observed another health issue related to staying up late — the ‘midnight snack’. “Despite having a full dinner, teenagers desire munchies like chips, ice creams or whatever they can find in the fridge as a second meal late at night. This habit leads to obesity, too much cholesterol and inactivity of the body in the long run,” she adds.

But for some youngsters, staying up late is more out of practicality than anything else. “I feel comfortable studying late in the night,” says Sonshu Iyengar, a 17-year-old student who knows how to use her time productively.

While she claims to be getting a healthy quota of sleep a night, she admits to her addiction to technology. “I’ve been blogging for a long time now and I think I’m on almost all of the social networking sites. I think it has caused an addiction to the masses but only to a limit — because anything can be controlled if you want it to be. Now that college has begun, I’m online a lot less,” she adds.

While the balance can be struck if one really wants it to, the general trend of the rising insomnia is not a comforting thought. One must ask why there is such a severe lack of parental supervision for such a trend to exist in the first place.

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