Be it stress at work, emotional troubles, personal crisis, increasing use of social media use, our sleep quality very often tends to take a hit in the process. As we are aware an average person requires 6-8 hours of sleep.
Sleep debt or sleep deficit is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep. A large sleep debt may lead to mental or physical fatigue.
Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are reported to be more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, poor concentration, auto accidents, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.
In many cases, a disturbance of sleep could be one of the symptoms of another disorder, either mental or physical like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse etc.
Typically, insomnia develops at a time of increased life-stress and tends to be more prevalent among women, older individuals and psychologically disturbed and socioeconomically disadvantaged people. When insomnia is repeatedly experienced, it can lead to an increased fear of sleeplessness and a preoccupation with its consequences. This creates a vicious circle which tends to perpetuate the individual's problem.
Hypersomnia is defined as a condition of either excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks (not accounted for by an inadequate amount of sleep) along with a tendency to fall asleep at inappropriate times during daytime.
Causes Of Sleep Disturbance
Increased release of the stress hormone cortisol hinders relaxation and leads to imbalance in sleep cycle.
Unfinished tasks, next day presentations leave us burning the oil from both ends keeping us up all night.
An ill child, taking care of a newborn baby- sleep quality deteriorates due to parenthood challenges.
Staying up at night due to usage of social media usage is becoming a widespread epidemic especially among the youth
How Counseling Helps
This is done through a sleep diary for keeping a track of sleep and any factors that might be contributing to disturbances. Sleep log include bedtime habits, substances that might interfere with sleep, the effects of sleep, and more.
Improving Sleep hygiene like avoiding caffeine after noon, incorporating physical exercise, making the environment conducive for sleep, restricting social media usage.
Maximizing the use of pre sleep period in some relaxing activities like a post dinner walk, hot water shower, reading a book. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
Incorporating deep-breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery to help you fall asleep. Practicing mindfulness meditation before sleep has proven to be beneficial in having more peaceful and restful sleep.
Ruminating i.e going over and over again the same is found to be one of the most prevalent reasons for sleep disturbance as it tends to cause anxiety Working the loop of thoughts and replacing it.
Financial crisis, loss of a loved one, break up, emotional turmoil, adjustment to changing life phases have an impact on our sleep quality. Resolving the predominant challenges would further lead to improvement in sleep quality.
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a crisis intervention helpline. Should you have severe symptoms or have thought about harming yourself, please seek immediate medical help or call suicide prevention helplines such as
Aasra 24x7 Helpline: 91-22-27546669