World Sleep Day 2021: How important is a good night’s sleep for overall health?


Getting 7-9 hours’ sleep is essential for your overall well-being. “Currently, owing to stress and hectic schedules, about 35 per cent people fail to get a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, tends to affect their health,” said Dr Satish Bhalgat, Dentist specialised in Sleep Dentistry, ACI Cumballa Hill Hospital.

On World Sleep Day, observed annually on March 19, read on to know why a good night’s sleep is the need of the hour.

Sleep is an important function that calms your mind and cleanses your body leaving you feeling energetic, fresh, and alert.
Less sleep leads to cognitive problems and your brain will not be able to function properly; makes you feel cranky and irritable. Moreover, fluctuations in blood pressure, chances of stroke and heart disease, obesity (weight gain), increase in blood sugar levels.

“Furthermore, you will also be shocked to know that poor sleep habits can be tied to depression. Those with insomnia may have anxiety and depression,” said Dr Bhalgat.

Also, poor sleep can lead to increased inflammation in the body. Issues like not recognising others’ emotions or expressions can also crop up owing to poor sleep habits.

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What are the benefits of good sleep?

*Sleep is beneficial for your heart health and reduces the chances of heart attacks and strokes.
*Sleep is not only essential for your physical well-being but your mental well-being too. A good sleep routine will help you tackle depression, stress, and even inflammation. It will also enhance the function of your immune system.
*It can refresh you and help you to focus and concentrate on your work. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity. It can help enhance your memory. Thus, you will be able to do this better and also remember them.
*It can reduce the risk of road and work-related accidents.
*You will be shocked to know that the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are responsible for regulating your appetite can get disrupted owing to insufficient sleep. So, a 7-9 hour sound sleep will help you battle the bulge.

Essential tips to get a good night’s sleep

*Maintain a good sleep routine. Follow fixed sleep and wake-up schedule even on the weekends.
*Exercise on a daily basis but not before hitting the sack.
*Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the latter half of the day since they are known as sleep stealers.
*Do not watch TV or use mobile (blue screens) about 1 hour before sleeping.
*Make sure to set a proper room temperature and ensure the bedroom is dark and quiet.
“If you have sleep problems, consult a sleep specialist, sleep dentist, ENT surgeon, or pulmonologist and take an HST (Home Sleep Test) to understand if you have sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorders,” said Dr Bhalgat.

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