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The boss seems to be hell-bent on giving you a taste of ever-shortening deadlines, your spouse is complaining more than usual and the neighbours are waking up to the sounds of your snoring rather than the alarm clock. Take solace, for you're not alone. Leading doctors in the city believe that sleep disorders are among the fastest rising ailments seen among the young, upwardly mobile, working professionals of today. So much so, that experts say that such problems have assumed a life-threatening dimension.

With office goers working late to meet impossible deadlines and super-moms juggling career, kids and home, people these days are compromising on the essential hours of sleep required on a daily basis. As a result, they are on the receiving end of sleep disorders. Dr N Rama Krishnan, who practices at an institute specialising in sleep sciences in the city, says, "Many a time, sleep-related ailments go undiagnosed. A lack of awareness adds to the plight. Sleep deprivation could lead to 'apnoea' which is slowing down of breathing during sleep."

He explains, "As the oxygen level in the brain goes down or gets constrained and the person wakes up abruptly. And when an individual wakes up with sore eyes and an aching body, tiredness and irritability are expected." Studies have shown that sleep deprivation could lead to lack of concentration in children and even impotency in adults.

Who are vulnerable:
Men are generally prone to sleep disorders, but for the last few years, the number of women affected by sleep disorders, has seen an upward trajectory.

Caffeine addicts and those who haven't yet gotten rid of their fixation with cigarettes, also form a part of the high risk group affected by sleep-related ailments.

Snoring is the usual symptom of sleep apnoea. Those affected show signs of depression, anxiety and low social interaction.

Recent studies have shown an alarming number of young men and women are getting prone to sleep disorders which are primary being attributed to lifestyle choices like long and stressful hours at work and unhealthy eating habits.

Tips to follow:
Sleep and get up on time. Not just making but adhering to a schedule would go a long way.

Go for morning walks and get enough sunshine.

Avoid coffee and aerated drinks.

Avoid going to bed directly after meals.

Do not go to sleep, watching the telly.

Unwind yourselves post-dinner for at least an hour. Listen to music, pick up a novel or indulge in a pastime.

Get seven hours of undisturbed sleep every day.

For night-shift workers:
Use eye shades while sleeping.

Keep cellphones away.

Have a heavy breakfast, so that you do not have to get up for lunch thereby breaking your continuous spell of sleep.

(Contributed by Jackson Jose)

Courtesy:  The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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