Our sleep patterns have been disrupted during the past two years in the battle with the Coronavirus. Ekirch, a professor at Virginia Tech helps us find a path to attaining enough sleep for proper functioning throughout the day.
A Comeback Route For Rectifying Pandemic-Hit Sleep Patterns?
It seems that a single stretch of 8 hours of sleep could be done in segments as practiced by our forefathers before the Industrial Revolution. He came upon this revelation when studying the sleep routines before Industrialization in Europe and America.
It seems that there are methods to provide individuals with sufficient energy and maximize work efficiency other than the recommended biological constant of 8 hours of continuous sleep per day. Just as how our food portions are divided into different sections all through the day, sleep could be segmented as well.
The segments were divided into two parts, as per the studies with a break between them both to commit to daily activities or those like chat, eat, pray, consume medicines or have sex. This type of sleeping habit is termed the biphasic sleeping pattern. It seems that humans are indeed their enemy.
As Industrial Revolution rolled out, there occurred an idea in the minds of every capitalist who wanted to squeeze out maximum energy and work from the laborers akin to conditions that resembled slavery – Biphasic sleep is a waste of time. As soon as lights and electricity were available, working conditions became long and difficult to handle. This caused society to sleep only one time during the day. What a genius way to solve the problem of workload increment.
Contrary to the 8 hours of sleep requirement being fulfilled, today’s world experiences a vast majority of individuals who cannot sleep. Most of their sleep patterns have been disrupted due to work-from-home requirements and handling the family issues together.
These situation coupled with the loss of loved ones is not a simple factor that affects our population. Many countries, doctors, nutrition specialists are striving for a healthier and balanced life routine in the year, 2022. It seems that disrupted circadian rhythm has become a pandemic much worse than Covid-19.
Susan Rubman, a behavioral sleep psychologist, Yale Medicine has come forward with the required steps that one could take to bring back a balance in life. The work-life balance of individuals hangs in jeopardy as individuals have increased the amount of caffeine intake, blurring out the clear distinction between work and life, irregular eating patterns, incorporating random workout routines, and much more. The first and foremost advice she gives to the public is to create boundaries.
With work from home, online classes, and virtual gym sessions, the majority of the population all around the world stick to the comfort of their bedrooms to complete all of these tasks thus, creating an impression of active space in the place which is designated for peace and rest. Hence, by segregating the functions of specific rooms, the activities associated with a room must concern the intended purpose of visiting that room. For instance, getting your props ready for work or study only in the allotted space, nighttime skincare, or haircare routine before bed.
Apart from this segregation of space, one should take care to adjust to the new but beneficial routine, regularly assess and confront both the emotional and physical health, and do not wait for exhausting oneself to set a sleep routine. Individuals must take care to reduce the caffeine intake several hours before bed and focus on sleep-inducing activities such as reading, journaling, or meditation rather than staring into devices that emit light.
Such gadgets confuse the brain about sleep timings and promote a sleep-deprived state. Taking early naps in between can also reduce fatigue and increase work efficiency. Tackling the concept of social, cultural, and ideological aspects of sleep may be the route to understanding the need for segmented sleep and proper routines as stated by Steger, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK. As they say, listen to the experts and make our health a priority this year!