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Dealing with Sleep Disturbances
|by Dr. Savitha Suri|
Our body functions like hormone release, body temperature, sleep-wake cycles, etc are caused due to Circadian rhythm which intern controlled by our biological clock. Circadian rhythms are responses of living beings for their surrounding environment, primarily to light and darkness. This rhythm follow a roughly 24 hours cycle and causes physical, mental and behavioral changes.
The biological clock of our body is situated in hypothalamus of brain. This clock is a group of nerve cells called suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN controls secretion of hormone melatonin which makes us sleepy. When there is less light , the SCN sends signals to brain to secrete more melatonin. Thus the sleep and wake cycle are in rhythm with night and day.
Employees who work in shifts, especially at nights experience sleep disturbances due to disruption in biological clock and disturbance in Circadian rhythm. When these disturbances become chronic, the health of employees gets affected.
Shift Work Disorder
Employees who work in rotating shifts or exclusive night shifts experience "shift work disorder". Shift work disorder can lead to Insomnia or excessive sleepiness. This eventually leads to increased risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Psychiatric problems like anxiety and depression may be triggered due to sleep disturbances. Due to Circadian rhythm the digestive system is active in day and sluggish at night. Awaking at night, impairs digestion. Inadequate sleep and caffeinated drinks taken during night shift, aggravate the problems of digestive system. Acidity and ulcers are very common in employees, who work in night shifts.
According to principles of Ayurveda a good and timely sleep nourishes all tissues (dhatu poshana) and balances three doshas. This keeps our body healthy. Proper digestion and nourishment of body tissues boost body energy and helps to develop immunity to diseases. Altered sleep pattern vitiates vayu, which in turn cause degeneration of tissues and imbalance of doshas. Vayu which gets aggravated due to disturbed sleep dries up the tissues "ratrau jaagaranam rooksham".
The vitiated vayu causes the following condition.
Tips to Reduce Health Hazards Due to Shift Work
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Comments on this Article
naunit lal rastogi
01/05/2012 02:11 AM