Sleep and Drug Free Living

Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. 

To have a disease free and drug free life a person has to have a perfect balance of these three viz. diet, exercise and sleep.

Importance of sleep

  • Sleep is essential for a person’s health and well being.
    Yet millions of people don't get enough sleep which results in problems like daytime sleepiness, poor decision making, poor coordination and accidents.
  • Sleep helps the brain to store new information in memory through a process called memory consolidation.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
sleeping child
  • Serious sleep disorders are linked to hypertension, increased level of stress hormones, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Sleep deprivation reduces the efficiency of the immune system.
  • Sleep isn’t just a time when your body and mind shut off. While you sleep, your brain is busy, overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance tasks that keep you running and prepare you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to function at your full potential.

Amount of sleep needed

Sleep requirement varies from person to person. In general, most healthy adults require 7-8 hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness after as little as six hours of sleep.

Factors that affect sleep

  • Stress - the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties
  • Drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening
  • Exercising close to bedtime
  • Following an irregular morning and night time schedule
  • Doing mentally intense activities just before bed time
  • Working in alternate shifts
  • Traveling also disrupts sleep, especially jet lag and traveling across several time zones. This can upset your biological / circadian rhythms.
  • Environmental factors such as a room that's too hot or cold, too noisy or too brightly lit can be a barrier to sound sleep.
  • A number of physical problems like pain can interfere with your ability to fall or stay asleep.
  • Certain medications like steroids and some medicines for high blood pressure, asthma or depression can cause sleeping difficulties as a side effect.

Types and stages of sleep : Non-REM sleep, REM sleep

Tips for good sleep : Yoga, meditation and sleep

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