Around the world, having trouble falling asleep is one of the most common concerns reported by people. So often we have conversations related to the quality of our sleep and its effects within the Malini’s Girl Tribe. So, we invited Dr. Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist at PD Hinduja Hospital, to host an Ask Me Anything session on sleep and sleep-related disorders.
Dr. Pinto answered questions like how to deal with insomnia, excessive daytime somnolence (sleeping in the day), morning headaches, irritability through the day, recent weight gain, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, recurrent strokes, inability to concentrate, and more. Scroll down to read how you can create healthy sleep hygiene and sleep soundly.
Q. I’m currently going through a heartbreak. I sleep, but I feel utterly tired in the morning. Is there a way I could have quality sleep and feel refreshed in the morning? Also, can boredom makes one feel sleepy? I notice that I start to feel very sleepy and yawn a lot in social events with certain people.
If a person is adequately rested, boredom is more likely to make a person fidgety and restless than sleepy. We use a test called the MWT (maintenance of wakefulness test) that uses exactly this principle. If you do feel sleepy in certain circumstances, it is likely that you aren’t rested enough, and need to address why. Going through a heartbreak could possibly explain troubled sleep, but if it persists, you might want to seek help. Do make sure that your sleep hygiene is optimal.
Q. Even if I sleep at 1 am or 11.30 pm, I am up by 6 am-6.30 am. I can’t sleep afterwards and feel tired throughout the day. What can I do to catch adequate sleep?
If you do wake up at 6-6.30 am, come what may, you need to ensure that you are in bed by 10 pm. Some individuals may need even more sleep than this, but a minimum of eight hours should be non-negotiable for someone who is tired during the day. Avoid napping, and follow good sleep hygiene practices. If despite these measures, you still continue to be sleepy, you should be assessed for sleep apnea, especially if you have been told that you snore.
Q. I sleep for six to seven hours and wake up two to three times to either diaper change or feed my baby. I still feel very tired throughout the day. Is there a way to cut short the daily sleep requirement?
A fragmented sleep tends to be of poorer quality, and unfortunately, having an infant would make the fragmented sleep a part of life. There are no shortcuts, and sleep becomes even more important if you are breastfeeding, considering the energy requirements for the same. Try and nap whenever you get a chance, and things will get better as your baby grows.
Q. I’m not able to sleep before 12 am, I can only sleep after that. What can I do? I tried reducing my screen time an hour before bedtime but it still doesn’t help.
If you have done this all your life, it is a pattern that is going to be challenging to break, as your circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock) has been reset. A drug like melatonin might help, as might bright light therapy to reset the clock. Try and avoid afternoon naps. Exercise in the morning time can help, as fatigue would help with feeling sleepy. Follow good sleep hygiene practices.
What’s your biggest concern when it comes to sleep? Please share it with us in the comments below.
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