How Sleep Affects Our Health?

Yesterday one old aged patient came to my hospital. I was checking him and he was perfectly okay except for a bit of cough and cold. When he was about to leave he just smiled and said, “Son, probably you are the best MD physician in Vadodara and I cannot guide you in your field. But I want to tell you something profound. I am 75 but with minor health issues, God knows what will happen when your generation reaches this age. Change yourself before time forces you to change. Think over it.” He went away later, but I kept pondering.

YES! Uncle was 100% correct. Our generation is prone to diseases. This is because of our lifestyle and our diet. I can very well understand how you might be feeling. I am not here to lecture you on having a balanced diet.  Everyone knows the importance of having a proper diet. 

We all have seen how pandemic has affected us. Stress, anxiety and fear of diseases have become common. As an MD doctor in Vadodara, I have personally observed many cases that relate to mental illness rather than physical problems.

As a doctor, I’ve worked round-the-clock during the pandemic so I very well know how stress affects us. I’ve observed even when the patients come to my OPD room, mobile is with them. Every time the nurse has to remind the patients to keep the phone silent. How stressful our lives have become!

For a healthy life, you need a life free from stress. I know it is not 100% possible. But what you can do is to get complete sleep whenever possible, exercise and eat a healthy diet. Most importantly, avoid OTC medicines and secondhand smoke. It affects a lot.

I want to emphasize each aspect in greater detail but as you know, being a ‘best MD doctor in Vadodara’ confers many responsibilities on me. I love to write, that’s why I am writing to you. 

So for today, let’s concentrate on ‘sleep’. I have seen people have multiple health issues just because of sleep deprivation and that is why this is the first topic that I wish to discuss with you. For those of you who are in hurry, here’s a quick glimpse.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

We need sleep so that our body can rejuvenate and repair itself. During sleep, our energy demands are reduced. It is observed that the energy demands in humans reduce by almost 10% when they are asleep. Many restorative functions of the body are done during sleep. 

What is The Science Behind Sleep?

If you understand the science behind sleep then things will be pretty clear to you. Just as we cannot keep the machines working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; similarly our body needs a break. The human heart is the only organ that does not stop beating even for a minute.

When we are awake our brains produce a chemical called adenosine. Once this adenosine starts to build up our brain sends the signal to our body for tiredness. This tiredness forces us to sleep.

When we drink tea, coffee or intake alcohol, it blocks the formation of adenosine and hence we stay alert. That is the reason some of the best general physicians in Vadodara and elsewhere, always ask you about your habits. So that they are in a better position to judge whether sleep is causing you problems.

Why Does Deprivation of Sleep Lead to Obesity?

The answer to this question relates to the previously answered question about, ‘why do we need sleep?’ When we are awake we constantly eat something. That’s the reason that we become obese when we sleep less, although it is not directly related to sleep.

Sleep maintains a healthy balance of hormones. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes you feel hungry and leptin is a hormone that makes you feel full. What sleep exactly does to you is that your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down when you don’t get enough sleep. This creates hunger pangs.

Sleep also affects insulin. Insulin controls blood glucose and sleep deficiency raises blood sugar and in turn, leads to diabetes.

What is The Importance of Sleep for Children and Teens?

I’m sure each one of you must have seen how the babies sleep or heard the phrase, ‘sleep like a baby’. That itself indicates the importance of sleep for children.

In olden times children did not have access to TV, mobiles and the internet. They used to play and when they were physically tired they used to sleep.

But in modern times, children have access to all sorts of devices. This creates turbulence in their minds and they are unable to get a sound sleep. Their mind stays active and thinks about many things even when they are asleep.

But as an MD physician in Vadodara, my advice to you is as far as possible to encourage your child to do physical activities. Don’t watch TV or watch anything absurd on social media because that prevents the child from getting deep sleep.

Sleep supports healthy growth and development in children. In sleep, the body releases the hormones that help to build muscle mass and helps to repair tissues and cells. It is very much essential for puberty and fertility too!

When we’re discussing sleep, the very next question that many people ask me is;

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

According to this table, everyone needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day. It may slightly vary in old people due to a variety of reasons.

You might feel that in case you aren’t able to sleep on working days, you can make the deficient sleep on the weekends. But that is not 100% correct. The sleep once lost is lost forever!

So my advice to you as the best general physician in Vadodara would be to try to get good sleep each day. You might not know but sleep affects us physically and mentally.

Lack of sleep can lead to ‘micro sleep’ even when you don’t notice it. Your mind just goes blank for some period. This can happen anywhere even when you are studying or driving and can lead to dangerous effects.

How to Identify Whether You Sleep Deficient?

I remember, when I was a child, I used to feel sleepy at school during historical periods. I am sure all of you must also be having certain instances which make you feel sleepy.
Do you feel sleepy while;

  • Reading a book
  • Listening to music
  • Watching TV
  • Waiting for someone

If yes, then you are sleep deficient. If you are feeling tired, irritated and restless even after a night’s sleep then it is probably an indication that you are not getting enough sleep.

Before you visit the best MD doctor in Vadodara for this problem it is essential to keep a note of your sleep. Record every single time you feel sleepy, naps, the hours you slept at night, how you felt after getting up in the morning etc. This helps us to resolve the issue.

We are always at your service but do you know the six best doctors who offer free treatment? They are:

  • Air
  • Exercise
  • Water
  • Rest (sleep)
  • Sunshine
  • Balanced diet

According to me if you follow all of the above steps, you will face fewer health issues. Because nature is the best doctor.

What Are the Complications Due to Sleep Deficiency?

We don’t follow the rules laid by God for us and then when things go wrong we blame it on others. A similar thing happens when you sleep less than 7 to 8 hours a day.

Sleep deficiency can cause problems such as:

  • Difficulty in learning, focusing and reacting
  • Trouble in making decisions
  • Trouble in solving the problems
  • Difficulty in remembering things
  • Difficulty in controlling emotions
  • Sleep deficient children often misbehave and are overactive
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation

At times, it can even result in accidents. So as a piece of good advice you should always have proper sleep.

A Way Forward

Lack of sleep can cause many health problems, some of them can even lead to death. You must go to sleep at the same time every day for better sleep. Try to avoid distractions such as TV, bright screens or mobiles. Always try to sleep in a room that is dark or has very dim light.

Proper sleep can go a long way in keeping your health intact and can save you from many complications. For any expert advice or treatment, we are always there to help you.

About Dr Trushar Gohel:

Dr Trushar Gohel is the best MD Medicine doctor in Vadodara. He has pursued his MBBS from B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad and M.D. medicine in 2017 from N H L medical College & V S hospital Ahmedabad. Dr Trushar Gohel is an experienced and skilled doctor in his field of specialization. He has worked as a consultant physician and ER consultant in Ambuja Nagar multispeciality hospital.

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