SLEEP DISORDERS IN TODAY’S YOUTH

How does it affect your life as a college student? 


Increased freedom, changing schedules, stringent deadlines, heightened stress, hostel living, social obligations and educational responsibilities. These are all part of a college student’s life. From assignments to presentations, from class tests to university examinations, the life of a college student is monotonous. It is filled with books, notes and assignments at one end to fun, movies and trips on the other end.

Sleep is a major concern in today’s youth lifestyle. It is not just the lack of sleep that poses a problem but also over-sleeping that causes a threat. Poor sleep patterns can inhibit a student’s performance whereas excessive sleep can cause hindrances in reaching objectives and fulfilling responsibilities. Sleep is essential to one’s physical and mental health as it regulates the body mechanism and helps one to lead a healthy lifestyle. About 150 million adults across the world suffer from sleep-related problems.

It is not difficult to notice one’s sleep patterns. But how can you tell if your sleep problem is just a minor change due to a hectic week or a sign of serious underlying concerns? Here is a small checklist to help you deal with the uncertainty!

- Feel irritable during the day?

- Hard to focus and concentrate?

- React slowly and can’t pay attention in class?

- Feel like taking a nap every day?

- Look tired?

- Can’t fall asleep at night?

- Difficult to wake up in the morning?

 If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then yes, you do have a sleep disorder! Now that you know there is a problem, what is the solution to deal with this? There are some self-help techniques that can help you deal with these issues. First of all, create a schedule! Maintain a diary to record you daily patterns during the day and at night. This will help you to identify your sleeping habits. Note when you go to sleep, when you wake up, how many hours of sleep you had, what you consumed before going to sleep, your mood before bed and if you have taken any drugs or medications before sleep. You can identify these factors and try to modify and change them to see if any resultant change occurs.

Sleep at the same time every day which should include weekends. Keep and set aside exact number of hours you need to sleep, about 7 to 8 hours. Sleep in a comfortable space where there won’t be any distractions such as noise, light, etc.

Never consume sleeping pills! These can make your sleep patterns worse in the long run and cause more problems for you, except when prescribed by your doctor. It is not wrong to consult your doctor if you have persistent problems with sleep, especially when the self-help techniques don’t work for you.

Try to create such a study environment which will not interrupt your sleep schedules. Avoid all night study sessions and late night computer work which seems to be the highest cause of sleep disruption among college students. Lead a healthy lifestyle and you can defeat the common problems and become more productive!

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