Festivals are here and as much as we love them, there is no denying that they leave you exhausted. Fatigue and lethargy overpower us, particularly after festivals are over. This is the result of sleep debt that is primarily caused during festivals. Here is what sleep debt means and how it does your body more harm than you can imagine.
Sleep debt, which is also known as sleep deficit, is an adverse, cumulative effect that you experience due to continuous insufficient sleep cycles. Experiencing large sleep debt may cause physical and mental fatigue, ultimately hampering your health adversely.
We Indians believe in celebrating all our festivals with much pomp and grandeur. During key festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Diwali we are constantly on our toes with doing up our house, preparing food delicacies, welcoming guests, and taking part in cultural programs. Quite literally we are dancing to the tune of the festive music! All these activities along with loud music can overwhelm you and tax your cognitive and physical efficiency leaving you to sleep deprived and tired. Inadequate sleep for a prolonged period can lead to sleep debt. It impacts your physical, psychological and overall well-being negatively.
Continuous bonhomie and celebration can overpower your senses. You may end up sleeping in intervals but you are not left with any time to sleep at a stretch. This may result in behavioural problems like irritability, stress, reduced recall and poor judgement.
Festivals are not only hectic but also leave you with irregular eating habits. This affects your bodily functions adversely. Your body becomes more vulnerable to sleep deprivation effects. Some serious health problems that sleep debt may cause are indigestion, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, stroke and obesity.
Irrespective of the festival season, it is essential to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours at a stretch at night to ensure good physical and psychological health.
Even though festival celebrations are inevitable, you can be prepared for the sleep debt and beat it effectively without letting it hamper your health. Here are some effective tips to sleep well during festival season.
Even if you don’t stay up at night, you may still find it difficult to sleep at night due to inappropriate eating habits. We tend to indulge in overeating and eating too many sweets during festivals. Make sure you consume sweets and food in moderation. Avoid having coffee or alcohol after evening as it can prevent you from having a sound sleep at night. Don’t forget to drink lots of water.
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. You may be tempted to share your celebrations on social media with friends and family. But avoid accessing laptops, mobile devices or tablets, at night. Devices promote the emission of short-wavelength blue light, which interrupts the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Screen time before sleep makes you feel more alert and prevents you from falling asleep soundly.
If you’re having guests over or have been invited to someone’s place in the evenings, make sure you take a quick afternoon nap before you start. Power naps are known to restore your lost sleep balance quickly. Even a few minutes of sleep can go a long way while staying up at night.
After all the fatigue that festivals bring, ensure your body gets a good night’s rest. A good mattress is paramount in giving you uninterrupted sleep.
Urge authorities in your neighbourhood to take sound pollution seriously. Lay down rules with society members on bursting firecrackers and using loudspeakers only for a stipulated time period.
Try not to give your exercise routine a complete miss during festivals. But even if you do, make sure you come back quickly. Resuming your fitness routine without delay, will help your body regain its original health.
Lastly, once the festivals are over, give yourself a day off before you resume your routine. Hope these tips equip you with everything you need to beat sleep debt during festivals. Enjoy the joyousness with family and friends.