Poor sleep costs dear

Lack of sleep is triggering lifestyle ailments on a large scale in Bengaluru, doctors say

Sleep deprived individuals between 20 and 35 years are increasingly complaining of diabetes, heart ailments, and headaches, doctors say.

Sleep deprivation is an increasing epidemic among young Bengalureans. It is leading to several lifestyle ailments and disorders, say medical practitioners. 

In a busy city, where work schedules and lifestyle changes affect sleep patterns, lifestyle ailments are on the rise, and sleep is considered one of the main triggers.   

Dr Bindumathi P L, senior consultant, internal medicine, Aster CMI Hospital, observes that about 75 per cent of those who are diabetic or suffer from hypertension are sleep-deprived. 

“Sleep is required for charging the brain. Inadequate sleep triggers metabolic syndrome, which is risky. Sleep patterns can affect the circadian rhythm and affect the melatonin,” she details.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions that include high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dr Bindumathi says children and adolescents should be taught to follow disciplined sleep. 

“Youngsters who are 30 and sleep fewer hours are complaining of diabetes and this number has increased over the past 10 years,” she says.

Five to 10 per cent of the city’s population had sleep disorders 10 years ago, and the number has now risen to 30, she estimates.

Time spent in traffic and packed work schedules are deterrents to good sleep. “There are many Bengalureans who spend a sixth of their day in traffic. This can be deeply stressful and can affect sleep,” she says.

Heart ailments are connected to adequate sleep, points out Dr Sreekanth B Shetty, senior consultant and head of interventional cardiology, Sakra World Hospital. 

Poor quality of sleep or disturbed sleep is commonly seen in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, he says.

“Snoring and cessation of breathing during sleep are common here and commonly affect the quality of sleep. Individuals who are overweight or have an obstruction in their upper airway often experience this condition. They are more prone to headaches, stress, fatigue, and experience memory lapses,” he says. 

Sleep apnea can increase the thickness of the heart muscles, and result in congestive heart failure. If one is sleep-deprived for long, one could even suffer a stroke, he adds.

“Bengaluru’s population is dominated by youngsters. Those between 25 and 40 who are sleep deprived are having heart attacks. In 10 years, the percentage of youngsters coming in for heart ailments has increased to almost 30 per cent,” says Dr Sreekanth. 

A rise in cases of headaches among 25 to 40-year-olds is common now because of lack of sleep, says Dr Anil R, consultant-neurologist, Columbia Asia Hospital. 

“About 60 per cent of our cases are dominated by sleep deprivation. Stress headaches are common. A major trigger to migraines is improper sleep. Irritability and anger are also noticed among patients,” he adds.

Types of sleep deprivation

*You go to bed, you don’t fall asleep; you slip into sleep late and wake up late.

*You sleep in time but wake up several times.

*You sleep in time but wake up by 3 am and can’t go back to sleep.

Good sleep is...

Make sure to rest for six to eight hours a day.

Steps for peaceful sleep

*Work out, physically and mentally.

*Avoid caffeinated drinks after 6 pm.

*Avoid using mobile, laptop in bed.

*Stop using electronic devices at least an hour before sleeping.

*Don’t smoke after dusk.

*If you want to read before bedtime, do it in a chair.

*Maintain a sleep diary.

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Poor sleep costs dear

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