How many times have we or someone we know boasted about running on minimum hours of sleep? While people generally agree that sleep is important, it is never made a priority. Sleep is always awarded by people to themselves as a recompense for a hard days’ work and not looked at as a necessity. Sleep is seen as a lazy activity in this fast and progressive world.
The fact is, it’s exactly the opposite.
A good quality restorative sleep not only energises you but makes you more alert and functional.
Here are three contemporary reasons for which the young generation is often staying awake for long hours, more prone to insomnia, and more exhausted throughout the day.
First, there is a growing area of ‘Hustle Culture’ wherein people assume- the more hours you spend expending yourself physically or mentally, overworking, the more success and respect you earn. This is not only irrational and un-researched, but it creates problematic and unhealthy work environments.
While hard work is essential, it isn’t synonymous with unchecked labour. There must be a balance between the amount of work one puts in and the amount of rest one gets. One accelerates the aging process during this sprint.
Second, ‘Doom Scrolling’ is another rising phenomenon in the laundry list of things that have affected the young generation’s sleep.
Researchers have found that newer generations are affected by the growing political unrest and climate change. Doom scrolling in this context refers to consuming more and more disturbing news on a loop and depriving themselves of rest, in a bid to not lose out on new social developments. A growing unemployment rate and the uncertainties of a pandemic do not help either. Young adults and adolescents are more susceptible to doom scrolling. The result of excessive grim news can be very detrimental and take a mental and emotional toll on young growing minds.
Third, A conjoining facet of doom scrolling is ‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’. People are increasingly compromising their sleep to enjoy a few more hours awake as they feel they have had no free time throughout the day. The absence of conversation around ‘work-life’ balance only aggravates this issue. Although a majority of people use electronic gadgets to procrastinate; revenge bedtime procrastination includes all the activities that a person engages in, to delay sleep. People want to spend time doing something they enjoy other than just work. So, if ‘free time isn’t a part of their busy schedules they end up sacrificing sleep hours to compensate for it.
Although I mention these few new rising issues that affect sleep- there obviously are basal issues as well. Insomnia, sleep apnoea, jet lag, etc are very common areas of sleep issues. People mustn’t view sleep as leisure but a necessity. Quality of sleep is just as paramount as quantity. Do not view sleep as comfort you cannot afford, it is an essential part of your health.
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