Insomnia or the inability to sleep is one of the major crises plaguing the modern world, thanks to technological advancement and the insatiable need for more.

This World Sleep Day, we therefore decode the problem, look at its causes, dangers and ways that can help. Because there are few things as essential, satisfying and rewarding as a good night's sleep.

What is insomnia? 

You have insomnia if you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep despite a conducive environment.

Depending on the duration, it can be characterized into:

Acute: It's brief and is caused by stressful life situations such as exams, death of a relative, accidents.

Chronic: When you have disrupted sleep for at least three nights a week for over a minimum of three months.

32% Indians blame technology for poor sleep 

Though mental and physical disorders can also lead to chronic insomnia, here we look at lifestyle behaviors that most commonly trigger it:

*Irregular sleep times: Common among shift workers or those with an indisciplined lifestyle. It disrupts your body clock and can lead to long-term diseases.

*Troublesome food habits: Excessive/untimely consumption of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and heavy meals wreck your sleep.

Sleeplessness can kill, if it comes to it 

*Fix a timeslot for sleep and stick to it daily, including weekends.

*Meditate and exercise. A tired body and calm mind act as catalysts.

*Refrain from looking at screens (smartphone/laptop/TV) in the last hour before bed.

*A warm shower, dipping feet in lukewarm water, early light dinners and drinking warm milk also help.

*If you are taking pills, check if they're affecting your sleep.

What is World Sleep Day? 

Hosted by the World Sleep Society since 2007, the day is observed globally every year on the Friday before annual Spring Vernal Equinox. Its date changes accordingly. It aims to raise awareness on the importance of sleep and champions better prevention/management of related disorders.
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