In nature, all living beings sleep and so does hu- mans. We need different amount of sleep during different ages. Babies sleep a lot as you know as compared to adults, who need 7 to 9 hours sleep. During sleep our body goes in a repair mode, making us fit physically and mentally for the next day.

Sleep alternates between REM (Rapid Eye Movement ) & NREM ( Non Rapid Eye Movement), each being about a 90 minutes cycle and about 5 cycles a night.

During the third part of NREM sleep we experience the deep sleep, here we enhance memory storage in to our brain area called Hippocampus. During sleep, our body generate secret ser- vice agent like cells from our immune system. They destroy toxic cells and cancer-causing cells. Instead of 7 hours, if we have 6 hours sleep then these helper cells decrease by over 70%.

Proper sleep regener- ates Serotonin, Oxytocin& Dopamine which are essential to have proper mood, con- tentment and bonding.

Study shows that individuals who are sleep deprived for over one hour every night for a week have a marked change in the gene activity as well, almost 711 genes are affected. Half became low active such as Immune Protective, Memory & Mood ones. The rest half became over active such as Cancer Causing, Stress & Cardiac Disease one’s. In over 70 Countries, 1.6 Billion people are subjected to the biggest experiment in cardiac health. In spring, we loose one hour of sleep, the next day there is 24% increase in heart attacks, 14% increased motor vehicular accidents & increase suicide rates.

In the fall, when we have an extra hour sleep. As a result, heart attacks decrease by 21%. Accidents & suicide also decrease proportionately because of this.

In men, if instead of 7 hour Sleep, 5 is provided then in a week the testicular size & Volume decreases and also testosterone level decrease leading to accelerated age by 10 years.

Similar affect is seen in females where lack of sleep affects their reproductive hor- mones and accelerated aging.

Sleep well

Sleep and wake up at the same time every day irrespec- tive of weekdays or week- ends. This synchronizes with our inner body clock called the Circadian Rhythm. Do not expose your eyes to any blue light from screens such as phone, tablet, video games & computers at least 2 hours prior to sleep.

Switch off

Sun exposure during the day time and exercise also will produce enough Melatonin for our sleep at night. You should go to bed only when you are sleepy. If things do not work out then see your health care provider.

Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji
MD,FRCP ( C ) Consultant Pediatrician Surrery BC