What is Sleep?
Sleep is a dynamic process during which the brain is very active. There are
recognized stages of sleep, each of which is characterized by a different
type of brain wave activity.
Why Does the Body Need Sleep?
Inadequate sleep can have severe detrimental effects on health. Studies have
shown that sleep is essential for normal immune system function and to
maintain the ability to fight disease and sickness. Sleep also is essential
for normal nervous system function and the ability to function both
physically and mentally. In addition, sleep is essential for learning and
for normal, healthy cell growth.
Though sleep is absolutely essential for normal, healthy function, but
everyone experiences occasional sleep problems, but getting a good night’s
sleep is essential for feeling refreshed and alert during the day. Lack of
sleep might make you feel foggy and unable to concentrate, or just a lesser
version of your normal self. Sleep problems will eventually disrupt your
work, family and personal relationships.
The amount of sleep that a person needs to function normally depends on
several factors (e.g., age). Infants sleep most of the day (about 16 hours);
teenagers usually need about 9 hours a day; and adults need an average of 7
to 8 hours a day. Although elderly adults require about as much sleep as
young adults, they usually sleep for shorter periods and spend less time in
deep stages of sleep. About 50% of adults over the age of 65 have some type
of sleep disorder, although it is not clear whether this is a normal part of
aging or a result of medications that older people commonly use.
Common types of sleep problems and sleep disorders
Almost everyone will be affected by insomnia at some point during life.
Insomnia – a short term or chronic inability to get high quality sleep – is
a common sleep problem and can be caused by a variety of things including
stress, a change in time zones, an altered sleep schedule or poor bedtime
The great news is that insomnia doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. In
many cases, self help techniques, including improved sleep hygiene,
relaxation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can alleviate insomnia
and promote better health as well as better sleep. For more details click
Sleep disturbances and depression are anything but strange bed
fellows. Nearly all depressed individuals experience sleep problems. Indeed,
early-morning awakening is a hallmark of the mood disorder.
Yet exactly how disturbed sleep and depression fit together is one of the
continuing puzzles of neuroscience. Many mental health experts believe that
sleep is a primary window into the brain and holds some key secrets of mood
The amount of sleep a person gets also strongly influences the symptoms
of mental disorders. Sleep deprivation is an effective therapy for people
with certain types of depression, while it can actually cause depression in
other people. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to a seemingly psychotic
state of paranoia and hallucinations in otherwise healthy people, and
disrupted sleep can trigger episodes of mania (agitation and hyperactivity)
in people with manic depression. For more details click
Person complains of a frightening dream.
Arousal during the dream is common.
The presence of a dream is the essential feature that differentiates
nightmare disorder from sleep terror disorder.
Sleep terror disorder
A sleep terror is characterized by a sudden arousal.
Commonly, the person cries out or screams as he or she is aroused.
The person has an increased heart rate, an increase in the respiratory
rate, flushing, sweating, and increased muscle tone.
The person is routinely unresponsive to external stimuli and, when
awakened, is confused, disoriented, and does not remember the event.
Incoherent speech or passing of urine has been reported to accompany
Common sleeping disorder symptoms:
Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness during the day
Forgetfulness, mood changes and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
What are the Symptoms of Sleeping
disorder in Child?
Sleeping disorder in child is often overlooked or
attributed to attention-deficit (ADD) or behavior disorders.
Food, drink and medications:
What you eat and drink during the day can affect your sleep at night. Too
much caffeine, smoking, and alcohol before bed all contribute to poor sleep.
Additionally, some prescription medications can interfere with sleep.
Ironically, if not managed carefully or stopped abruptly, sleep medications
can cause rebound insomnia.
Your sleep environment:
Your room may be too bright. Or excess noise during the night may be
waking you frequently. A quiet dark environment is best for sleep.
Your daily habits:
Too much stimulating activity before bed, be it vigorous exercise or
watching violent stories and images on the nightly news, can make it hard to
sleep. TV is best avoided altogether.
Your mental and physical condition:
Life stress, like a new job, family conflict, or financial worries can
keep you up at night. Or you may have a disease where sleeplessness is a
common symptom. Chronic pain may also be keeping you awake.
Herbs which is
Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) :
Brahmi also works as safe and natural sedative and
tranqulizing agent and hence it offers protection against
convulsions and is also beneficial in insomnia. Brahmi is also
useful for improving mental clarity, confidence and memory
recall. For these used of Brahmi, it has been widely used by
students. Brahmi has been found to be very beneficial in the
treatment of anxiety neurosis and mental fatigue. It has been
found to significant improve IQ levels, general ability,
behavioral patterns and mental concentration in children.
Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) :
It is used in insomnia and irritative conditions of the central
nervous system. It causes depletion of catecholamines at the
central and peripheral level and depletion of serotonin at the
It is a first liner natural remedy for stress and anxiety. It
has antioxidant and immunity enhancing propeties. The nootropic
effect nourishes the brain and nerves
Jatamansi (Naradiya Jatamansi) :
It is an ayurvedic herb with sedative action and soothing
properties for nerves
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) :
Traditionally, pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help
the restless fall sleep. Scientific evidence suggests that
aromatherapy with lavender slows the activity of the nervous
system, improves sleep quality, promotes relaxation and lifts
mood in people suffering from sleep disorders.
Home remedies of Insomnia :
Take a glassful of celery huice and mix a teaspoonful
of honey in it. Have this every night before going to bed. It
will assure a restful sleep throughout the night.
Grind some fried cumin seed to a fine powder. Mix them with a
pulp of a ripe banana. Eating this at night induces sleep.
Go for a low-salt diet
Avoid white-flour foods, sugar, tea, coffee,
chocolate, cola drinks: alcohol, fatty foods,
Take the following diet
Vitamin B1: Whole grain, cereals, pulses and nuts
Vegetables: Lettuce, Bottle Gourd
Dairy: Milk, Curd, clarified butter
Life Style :
Exercise daily, must walk atleast 1 mile a day
Enjoy a stress-free life
Cultivate a creative hobby
Avoid meeting impossible targets