Sleep deprivation is not pretty. From a beauty point of view, it gives you dark circles, and a red, inflamed, and dull complexion. But more than that, there’s nothing worse than tossing and turning all night waiting for sleep to come. Unfortunately sleep disorders are on the rise. “As a society, we are sleeping two to two-and-a-half hours lesser than we should,” says Dr Sanjay Manchanda, chairman, department of sleep medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. “The causes could be genetic, unknown reasons, obesity, snoring; in fact, there are about 80 sleep disorders in all.” Poor sleep makes you look less than fresh, but it also ruins your mood and the ability to focus on any task. “If you’re sleep deprived for five nights in a row, your performance at any task will be worse than a completely drunk person,” says Dr Manchanda.
But that’s not all. Sleep deprivation is also the number one reason behind road accidents. “A person can go from being wide awake to in a deep sleep in less than ten seconds—so driving while sleepy is risky even if you’ve fortified yourself with caffeine or loud music.” The main reasons behind this modern-day malaise include conditions such as sleep apnea, twitchy leg syndrome, late night parties, excessive alcohol and an unregulated sleep cycle. The following tweaks to your routine will help you get the sound sleep that you require. If, however, you have been deprived for more than a few months, it’s imperative to see a somnologist to find a permanent solution.