Dinesh K Nagpal

Please note this article does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any kind.

Part 1 of 2

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.”  ~ William Blake

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”~ Thomas Dekker

“Sleep is the best meditation.”~ Dalai Lama

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” ~ Marla Thomas

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~ Irish Proverb

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.”  ~ Clifton Fadiman

“Your life is a reflection of how you sleep, and how you sleep is a reflection of your life.”  ~ Dr. Rafael Pelayo

“Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
and kick every worriment out of the bed.”
 ~ Edmund Vance Cooke

“Sleeping is no mean art, for its sake one must stay awake all day.”  ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

 

What is sleeplessness?

After whole day’s working, every one of us needs a restful sleep at night. Those working at night need similarly restful sleep during day time.

After sound sleep of almost eight hours, your body gets energized and is charged with renewed energy and enthusiasm to work for the next very day.

Sleep improves your mental awareness, memories, concentration power and alertness. Sleep makes your body’s immune system strong; as a result you are not prone to several diseases. But there are several other factors also that are required to improve body’s immunity level.

There is countless number of people who after going to bed for sleep, keep struggling in bed and are unable to sleep for a longtime. There are people who even after being tired do not get quality sleep. And there are several people who are finding it difficult to sleep again, once they wake up in the middle of night or sleep cycle. Thus sleeplessness is a sleep disorder with,
i) Difficulty in falling sleep and
ii) Difficulty in staying sleep.

Therefore, some people are deprived of quality sleep and some lack required quantity of sleep. This problem is termed as Insomnia in medical terminology. It is common in people of advanced age group.

Symptoms of sleeplessness:

Sleeplessness is responsible for depriving you of required energy, mood and takes toll on your health. Your ability to work is also adversely affected. Sleeplessness thus leads to daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability and you find it difficult to concentrate on your work during the day. An extended period of insomnia may further lead to anxiety, depression and worrying thoughts. You may also find yourself in a situation that makes it difficult for you in socializing.

Duration:

Sleep disorder could be for a shorter period of few days that is known as Transient insomnia.

And when sleeplessness exceeds few weeks, it is known as Acute insomnia.

Then there are people who suffer from this disorder for a long time. Period of their sleeplessness may range from few months to a year or more. They are considered to suffer from Chronic insomnia.

Causes of sleeplessness:

There are several factors responsible for sleeplessness. But some of the important reasons are given here.

  1. Certain medications:  It is observed that use of some medicines such that are used for hormonal balancing and controlling various ailments including high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, dementia and cholesterol may cause sleeplessness. Medicines containing alcohol and caffeine may also be the cause of sleeplessness.
  2. Certain medical problems may also be the root cause of sleeplessness, such as Allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, Angina, Arthritis, Asthma,  Cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Gastro-intestinal problems, Hypothyroidism, etc.
  3. Mental disorders including Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Hopelessness and Worry are also major causes of sleeplessness conditions.
  4. Change of weather conditions, place, time to go to bed, change of shift of job or time zone are also reasons behind sleeplessness.
  5. Sometimes, hormonal changes in body especially during menstruation and menopause also cause sleeplessness in women. Similarly hormonal changes in men also cause sleeplessness.
  6. Excessive use of computer, TV, video games, mobile phones, DVD players, I pad and other similar electronic devices are also cause of problems pertaining to sleeplessness.
  7. There could be several other reasons of sleeplessness though looking insignificant but are causes of concern. Some of these are:
  • Naps during afternoon can make it difficult to sleep at night
  • Taking heavy meals at late hours just before bed time is also a cause of sleeplessness.
  • Excessive intake of coffee and caffeinated drinks is a major factor in sleeplessness conditions. Coffee taken during evening hour also causes sleeplessness. You are frequently getting up in middle of night for urination due to diuretic effect of caffeine.
  • Increased use of alcohol is also a major reason for sleeplessness in many people. Like caffeine, alcohol also has diuretic effect and therefore taking alcohol during late evening hours causes frequent urination leading to sleep disturbance.
  • Similarly use of nicotine by intake of tobacco in any form causes sleeplessness.
  • Trauma or traumatic experience of any kind causes sleeplessness.
  • Over reactive mind is also a cause of sleeplessness in many cases. Anger, hatred, jealousy, resentment, revengefulness etc. overpower your mind and as a result you experience sleeplessness.
  • In case your bed is worn out, or you have too soft or too hard mattress, uncomfortable pillow that too also leads to sleeplessness.
  • In case your bed room is too noisy, it also results in sleeplessness.
  • Bed rooms without proper ventilation and passage of air also cause sleeplessness. Sleeping in such room causes suffocation and one experiences sleeplessness.

Effects of sleeplessness: Lack of sleep invites several physical and mental conditions. Some effects are visible immediately however some are not. These effects are harmful for body. Here are given some of the adverse and harmful effects of sleeplessness.

  1. Causes accidents: Sleeplessness causes tiredness, fatigue, loss of self-control and decreased concentration. People also experience dizziness and nausea. This may result in accidents on roads and also for those they are working in factories on different machines. Every year countless numbers of persons are either killed in such accidents or injured causing loss of limbs and other vital organs.
  2. Impairs judgments: Sleeplessness is also one of the major causes of impaired judgment and resultant worsening of quality of life.
  3. Forgetfulness: It not only causes temporary memory loss and forgetfulness but also has an adverse effect on learning process. Chronic insomnia can also lead to permanent memory loss.
  4. Health problems: Sleeplessness leads to various health problems which include heart related diseases such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, heart failure etc. In addition, it also causes high cholesterol, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, kidney malfunctioning or kidney failure, blindness, damaged bones and many more diseases. Sleeplessness increases risk of death.
  5. Suppresses immune system: Sleeplessness has adverse effect on immune system of the body due to hormonal changes and decreased production of WBC’s. With weak immune system, body is prone to various ailments including common cold, flu and attack by various kind of virus and bacteria.
  6. Obesity: Those suffering from insomnia tend to eat more and their metabolic systems are also adversely affected thus resulting in weight gain. Obesity further leads to various diseases linked to it.
  7. Ageing of skin: Sleeplessness also results in hormonal disturbance as stress hormone; cortisol is produced in excess and thus resulting in adverse effect on skin and eyes. Eyes get puffy and dark circles are created under eyes. Texture of skin gets affected and it loses its luster and elasticity. Wrinkles on face and hands become permanent.
  8. Depression and anxiety:  Sleeplessness further leads to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

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About

Dr. Dinesh K. Nagpal has been studying and practicing The Art and Science of Positivism for over 35 years. His zest for gathering ancient knowledge based on Vedas, Upanishads and other Hindu scriptures, which are full of living life in totality, for the benefit of mankind, brought him laurels. The motto of his life is ‘Caring and Sharing is the essence of life.’

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