Call it nature’s way of applying brakes to our body and mind or an exercise to replenish the lost energy levels, sleeping is one biological activity which people in today’s modern culture are compromising on and putting their health at great risks in the long run.
Sleep occupies a third of our lives. It helps our body to regulate and balance its vital systems. However there is a trend which has been observed, especially in urban India where people are sleeping for few hours causing a phenomenon called 'sleep debt’. On an average our body needs 7 to 8 hours of peaceful sleep. However if we sleep for say just 4 to 5 hours a day we are creating a debt of 2 to 3 hours of sleep every day. In an attempt to keep up with a hectic lifestyle, staying up late and rising up early is a regime. Add to that the extra efforts that go to fulfill professional goals, rigorous work outs to stay fit and party all night craze, we hardly realize the cardiac hazards it all comes with.
Dr. Pravin Kulkarni, Cardiologist, Global Hospitals Mumbai says,” Sleep deprivation is directly co related to heart attacks and blood pressure. Sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep can lead to an increase in the pressure in the lungs which can make the right side of the heart weaker, leading to heart failure.”
“Lack of sleep can also cause hunger and cravings, increasing the food intake which further leads to obesity and reduced metabolism. This happens as a result of rise in the hormone Ghrelin which induces the need to eat more. Catching up with 40 winks or a power nap during day time after meal does help but is not the best option to overcome sleep debt.” says Dr. Pravin Kulkarni.