This World Sleep Day (March 13) make a promise to yourself to sleep better as it can help you beat any virus and stay at the top of your game.
At a recent media round table by Wakefit.co, a research and innovation-driven sleep solutions, Co- Founder and Director, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda launched the #SleepIndiaSleep Movement where anyone who is interested in sleeping better and leading a healthier lifestyle can win a prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and be crowned ‘India’s Sleep Champion’. However, the deeper issue of the importance of sleep and the health and science behind sleep articulated by Luke Coutinho, holistic lifestyle coach and Dr Arun Sasidharan, Scientist, Center for Consciousness Studies, NIMHANS was the highlight of the session.
The Need to Sleep
The need for sleep is a pertinent topic of conversation in today’s times, especially with India being the second-most sleep-deprived country in the world. “Sleep is the first casualty when anything goes wrong at home or at work. Likewise, a rise in stress levels mean that your sleep gets affected,” says Chaitanya. Wakedit.co incidentally, has data on how 1.4 lakh Indians are sleeping and the problems that they are facing. Incidentally sleep has its own cycles with like non rapid eye movement (REM) and REM sleep. When you initially sleep there is non-REM sleep for about 40 minutes which transcends to REM sleep and throughout the night there is a sleep cycle of this. Dr Arun Sasidharan, who has done much in sleep research to get a better understanding of the dynamics of sleep and thereby, consciousness says, “sleep recoups the ability of the brain to process information and is something that must not be compromised.” Incidentally sleep is just not about rest and has been used to help people overcome trauma through lucid dreaming. “When a person dreams of a traumatic episode of their lives, they are able to look at it from the outside and give a narrative to sustain it as well as a sense of control that can actually help them heal better and faster,” adds Arun. In fact, medical practitioners are inducing lucid dreaming using neuro modulation where the brain is electrically stimulated during the day using Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) which are external micro currents.
The Right Environment
The role of the environment also plays an important part in your sleep. If for instance your sleep area is a cramped space that you also use to say work, the brain needs a cue to help you sleep in the place that is also where you work. While the situation of using your mattress as a space to work is best avoided, you can change the environment before you sleep. This can be easily achieved by using a new fragrance, a pillow mist or air mist to change the smell of a room before you sleep so that your brain recognizes this altered sense of smell as an association with your sleep time. The importance of sleeping well and sleeping right is important as sleep helps you boost your immunity levels as the body can repair and rejuvenate itself. “Virus affects people with low immunity and poor sleep patterns harms the immunity of the body and healing is not possible if you don’t sleep well. Quality of sleep rather than number of hours matters a lot as waking up feeling refreshed is very important. Making lifestyle changes is a must for better sleeping cycles. Using guided meditation apps can be quite helpful too,” avers Luke. Incidentally Dr. Matt Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychologist and British scientist has indicated that even a couple of nights of sleep deprivation can lower your immunity by 60 percent. Remember that sleep is a mechanism that is inbuilt in all of us and that needs to be respected. A good night’s sleep will help you handle a problem better as there is a direct link between good emotional health and a good night’s sleep. So, make sure that you sleep well and take charge of your life, it will also help you beat all kinds of viruses including the Corona.
Registrations will be open from March 13th to 31st 2020. Applicants need to download a sleep tracker app and sync it with the Wakefit.co microsite to log in their sleep detail. The leader board ranking on the microsite will display the real-time rankings at city, state as well as the national level. City and state level prizes will be announced every week. The national level prize for INR 10 lakhs will be announced thereafter.
Tips to Sleep
- Set aside at least 8 hours for sleep.
- Plan your day for 16 hours and exercise self-discipline when you use social media.
- Do not use gadgets for an hour before you sleep.
- Do not eat your dinner late as this will hamper your sleep as food converts to energy.
- Try to sleep at around the same time every night.
- Regular practice of meditation can help you sleep better in the night. Research indicates that people in their 60’s with a history of meditation practice slept as well as those in their 40’s.
This story first appeared in Sakal Times dated Mar 13, 2020 here: