Sleep is the Best Meditation

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

A naturally recurring state characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles when exceeds a specific time limit ,is often unwelcomed in the form of emphatic admonitions from our elders .At times ,amongst the terms sleep and weep ,latter is consequent to the former. “Duniya ka naara jame raho,manzil ka ishara jame raho” has become the battle cry for parents worldwide which results in the student suffering from phases such as constant tension leading to sleep deprivation and gradually depression .Also ,students these days have developed a habit of sleeping late at night and getting up late in the morning.

For the working middle class the latest trends are to ‘party all night’ in the weekend ,complete their pending work by cutting off their sleeping time etc. The upper-middle or upper class faces the more gruesome situation of immense work load because of bigger responsibilities ,in whichever field they are.

This career-driven life ,where one is struggling to meet the countless demands of the day ,cutting back on sleep might seem like the only answer .This leads to the development of a variety of sleeping disorders. Dyssomnias are primary disorders of initiating or maintaining sleep or of excessive sleepiness and are characterized by a disturbance in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep ,for eg. insomnia, hypersomnia, and sleep apnea. Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or during arousal from sleep ,for eg. sleepwalking and REM behavior disorder. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD) are a family of sleep disorders affecting, among other things, the timing of sleep .Other sleep disorders include narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), restless leg syndrome (RLS).Fatal familial insomnia, or FFI, is an extremely rare genetic disease with no known treatment or cure, is characterized by increasing insomnia as one of its symptoms; ultimately sufferers of the disease stop sleeping entirely, before dying of the disease.

Somnambulism is generally seen in children while in older people we see natural sleeplessness or excessive sleep. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight. A person’s major sleep episode is relatively inefficient and inadequate when it occurs at the “wrong” time of day; one should be asleep at least six hours before the lowest body temperature. Human sleep needs vary by age and amongst individuals, and sleep is considered to be adequate when there is no daytime sleepiness or dysfunction.In general:

• Infants require about 14-15 hours a day.
• Teenagers need about 8.5-9.5 hours on average.
• Most adults need 7 to 9 hours a night for the best amount of sleep, although some others might need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.
• Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

A University of California, San Diego psychiatry study of more than one million adults found that people who live the longest self-report sleeping for six to seven hours each night. Researchers at the University of Warwick and University College London have found that lack of sleep can more than double the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, sleep difficulties are closely associated with psychiatric disorders such as depression, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder .Up to 90% of adults with depression are found to have sleep difficulties .The 2004 movie, “The Machinist” has carefully captured the essence of insomnia where the protagonist lives in a world of hallucination, Trevor Reznik is a machinist whose insomnia has led to him becoming emaciated. Sleep debt is the effect of not getting enough sleep; a large debt causes mental, emotional and physical fatigue. It results in diminished abilities to perform high-level cognitive functions.

Interesting it is that the condition sleeplessness has often been compared to one being lovestruck(in popular media). When lovestruck ,psychologically created physical symptoms, such as upset stomach, change in appetite, insomnia, dizziness, and confusion is evident.

A research journal of 2011 has shown that our nutrition intake also determines the quality of sleep we get. For instance ,on the intake of a diet rich in protein, the person suffers from fewer wakeful episodes while a diet rich in carbohydrate often results in shorter period of restful sleep .Therefore ,a varied diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and whole grains can be the best nutritional option for individuals seeking to improve the quality of their sleep.

During sleep, most systems are in a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems.

Who can afford to spend so much time sleeping, anyway? The truth is you can’t afford not to .Having mentioned some general facts about the easiest way to stay fit,one expects people to regulate their time and amount of sleep. Taking a morning walk ,cycling or going to a gym are obviously the more viable solutions to maintain adequate body shape and good health but one cannot compare and deny the essential usage of certain hours of sleep .What most of the people lack now a days is self-discipline and the habit of working according to a particular routine where every work has the required time slot ,the regulation of which is imperative and supposedly the best way in which everything can be done properly.{KO{KO{KO{KO{KO{KO

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