How The Environment And Behaviour Affect A Person’s Sleep?

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The importance of good quality sleep is not a new concept for us. A greek physician once said, “Disease exists if either sleep or watchfulness be excessive”. The truth has not changed now as it was back then: sleep is still a very vital part of our health and wellbeing. Get enough sleep, and you will be fully charged with your energy levels. On the other hand, get too little of it and be ready to mess everything up while also putting yourself at risk of many diseases from depression to diabetes.


How The Environment And Behaviour Affect A Person’s Sleep

Sleep deprivation is now very common in almost every developed or developing countries. People are so much engulfed in their work and social workload that they are lacking the daily necessity of getting a necessary amount of rest or just a basic rejuvenating sleep.

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Importance of Quality Sleep

Getting less amount of sleep – which may be voluntary or due to some uncomfortable feeling in your body like insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome poses a severe threat to your physical, emotional, social and mental health. Reports suggest that not getting enough sleep will affect your work, mental tiredness, concentration, forgetfulness, irritability, energy, social functioning, and daytime sleepiness. Conversely, research also shows that getting a good quality of sleep every day will provide you myriad benefits from energizing the start of your day to your social and overall wellbeing. It also says that:-

  • It improves the quality of life
  • Boosts the immunity
  • Helps you perform better everywhere
  • Make your memory sharp
  • Diseases the risk of diabetes
  • Prevents all sorts of cardiovascular problems
  • Decrease the risk of an early death

How environmental conditions impact your sleep?

Your surrounding conditions can very much impact your sleep. Conditions such as noise level, temperature, electronic distraction, bed comfort, and lighting play a very significant role in your overall sleep pattern and sleep-related wellness. For instance, a recent Israeli study on a bunch of 8th and 9th-grade students showed that those kids with excessive electronic technology habit experienced more problems like daytime sleepiness, low levels of energy than the ones who are used to get a good night’s sleep every day. The study also found out that kids who had a television in their own room went to bed later in the night than the ones who didn’t have one.  From this, the researchers concluded that there is a dire need of raising a public welfare concern regarding the functioning and lifestyle of current generation kids.

The amount of environmental noise is another important factor when we discuss about influential factors of your sleep. Research says that surroundings with a high level of noise during sleep – whether from neighbors or disturbances inside your own home or traffic can decrease the amount of sleep, causing you to wake multiple times at night. This may result in the secretion of stress hormones more than the normal level in your body, causing you to stress more. According to a German scientist Kohlhuber, the consequences of this poor sleep cycle can go far beyond just short term complications. It will not only decrease your general tiredness and cognitive performance but not getting enough sleep for a very long period of time may result in many heart diseases like heart attack and can increase the need for medication for a person.

Lighting can also cause loss of sleep because our body tends to adjust itself according to the changes in surroundings we observe. Therefore it’s not a new fact that our body winds down itself as soon as we lower the brightness levels of our rooms. Bright lights trick our body into thinking that it’s still day time, and hence it delays the body clock.

There are several methods to decrease environmental distractions to get a good night’s sleep. Try to make your bedroom free from any unnecessary noises and lighting to improve the odds of sound sleep. You can also follow these suggestions while making your bed:-

  • Turn out the lights in time
  • Turn down the volume of everything
  • Adjust the thermostat according to your comfort
  • Protect your bed from insects.
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Dr. John Augustine received his BA from Harvard College magna cum laude in 1987 and his Ph.D. and MD degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1992 and 1993. He was then an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at the Yale-New Haven Hospital from 1993-1995. From 1995-1998, John was a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute. He joined the faculty of the Duke University Medical Center in 2008 as Chief of Rheumatology at the Durham VA Hospital, a position he held until the end of 2017. He served as Chief of Rheumatology and Immunology at Duke from 2003-2008. He has conducted basic and translational research in the field of autoimmunity. He was focusing on the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the immunological properties of nuclear macromolecules, including DNA. More recently, he has investigated the immune activities of HMGB1, a nuclear protein with alarmin activity, as well as microparticles. These studies have provided new insights into the translocation of atomic molecules during cell activation and cell death and the mechanisms by which cell death can influence innate immunity.


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