As the days pass by with the majority population in India staying indoors amidst stringent lockdown measures, the number of individuals affected by COVID-19 has risen to shocking levels of over 2.7 crores, with the deadly disease claiming more than 3 lakh lives thus far. While this might invariably lead to restless thoughts and disturbing nightmares for many, constantly worrying when life will return to normal and facing a bleak future, now is the time that proper sleep is more important and necessary than ever before.
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Yes, working from home, kids on school break, or simply not having much to do for most of the day does tend to put one's routine in disarray. While some people are troubled thinking about how life can go on regularly, this shift in schedules or lack of things to do could even lead to extreme laziness and loss of interest in routine chores and hobbies. This results in staying up late into the night, binge-watching videos, series and movies on TV, OTT platforms well past midnight, thus negatively influencing sleep hygiene.
However, though sleeping might seem like a casual thing to do or even a waste of time for some, it is an integral part of ensuring optimal physical and mental well-being. Numerous scientific studies have shown that an average adult requires at least 7 hours of continuous sleep every day, with children and teenagers needing 8 hours or more. Sleeping through the night confers some fantastic benefits for wellness including providing the strained out bones and muscles some rest, clearing out the digestive tract to ingest fresh food the following day, revitalizing the key organs such as the heart, brain, liver and kidneys to perform optimally as well as refreshing the mind.
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5 Proven Health Benefits Of A Good Night's Sleep:
Improves Immune Response
Sleeping through the night guarantees the cytokines, the immune system response cells to any disease, are recharged and can function to their maximum capacity. This vastly promotes the body’s inherent defence mechanism, to safeguard the system from the common cold, flu and prevent the occurrence of severe bacterial and viral infections, like the current coronavirus disease.
Reduces Lethargy And Fatigue
While sleeping, the cells in the body replenish their energy supply. This immensely boosts vitality and productivity the following day, to perform all tasks and activities with ease. Lack of proper sleep at night leads to high levels of tiredness, exhaustion, with lack of focus. It is hence vital to get ample rest at night to enable the body to function well the next day.
Enhances Mental Wellness
The benefits of getting enough sleep at the end of the day not only enrich physical capabilities but also enhances the mental faculties of the brain. Sufficient rest for the neurons and other cells and tissues in the brain assures one of better efficiency at work, along with heightened concentration, memory and augmented intellect and cognition.
Lowers Risk Of Chronic Disease
Maintaining proper sleep hygiene of at least 7 hours of rest every night at a younger age, particularly during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s goes a long way in enriching the quality of life in later years. The chances of acquiring chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma are significantly lessened, besides decreasing the possibility of declined memory and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia etc.
Regulates Energy Metabolism
Simple Ways On How To Sleep Better During Lockdown:
Turn Off Bright Lights
Apart from a comfortable bed and good air circulation from a fan, completely dark surroundings are pivotal to ensure deep sleep at night. Owing to intense lighting in the room or beams from electronic devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, the body stays alert assuming it is still daytime, hindering the circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle.
Switch off all lights in the room and disconnect from all smart gadgets before going to bed for uninterrupted sleep at night.
Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol
While it is not required to entirely quit drinking coffee or alcohol amid the lockdown, it is advised to steer clear of them in the evening and night. Caffeine stimulates brain functions and tends to keep the body awake for long, hence consuming it in the morning is ideal. Alcohol does have sedative effects but upsets the sleep routine later on at night.
It is recommended to switch to decaffeinated beverages or herbal teas at night and not to take any alcohol before bedtime.
Take Only Brief Naps
Whether it is parents, couples and young adults working from home, or school and college students taking online classes through the day, morning schedules are hectic and chaotic, leading to taking naps post lunch for a much-needed break. However, naps must be short and earlier in the day, not stretch on for many hours or be taken in the late evening, since this hampers the quality and quantity of sleep during night time.
Take a power nap lasting an hour in the afternoon, to recharge the body and mind for the remainder of the working day.