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World Sleep Day: Mumbai experts bust myths and give tips for a good night’s sleep

Updated on: 18 March,2022 11:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Nascimento Pinto | nascimento.pinto@mid-day.com

Many people struggle to sleep well, which in turn upsets their daily routine. Three city doctors highlight misconceptions surrounding the night time activity such as it is okay to sleep less and snoring is not an issue. They also share easy tips to help you sleep better

World Sleep Day: Mumbai experts bust myths and give tips for a good night’s sleep

Experts say that the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity of sleep. Image for representational purpose only. Photo: istock


Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routine and if we don’t get enough of it, the body isn’t able to function at its best. Not everybody has the luxury of sleeping well, especially as screens have hampered sleeping habits. Experts say that the quality of sleep is more important than the quantity of sleep. So, even if a person sleeps long hours, it may not always be indicative of a good sleep. They also say that when a person isn’t getting their desired sleep, it is always advisable to visit a specialist.

Every year, World Sleep Day is celebrated on March 18 to raise awareness about the importance of good sleep health. As the world increasingly is increasingly engulfed in the digital era not only at work but also at home, getting a good sleep is becoming increasingly important.




Mid-day Online reached out to three city experts Dr. Sheetal Radia, consultant otorhinolaryngology and head and neck oncosurgery, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Dr Shama S Kovale, consultant, ENT at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Dr Prashant Makhija, neurologist, Wockhardt Hospital-Mumbai Central. They share the common myths associated with sleep that they have come across over the years and bust them for us. At the same time, the trio also shares important tips and tricks that people can use to get a good sleep.


Myth: It is okay to sleep less as the body gets used to it.
Fact: The truth is you need adequate sleep of more than seven hours to function normally. However, it is believed that there are some people who have a genetic mutation that allows them to naturally sleep for a shorter time and still wake up refreshed. But not everyone can do so. Many people will feel lethargic and get headaches if they fail to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.

Myth: More sleep is always better.
Fact: This is bad too because it suggests you may be suffering from depression or any other disease. 

Myth: Only the number of hours you sleep matters.
Fact: This is false because quality of sleep also matters.

Myth: It's okay to sleep on weekends as compensation.
Fact: You need a particular number of hours of sleep every day to rejuvenate. 

Myth: Snoring is not harmful and indicates sound sleep.
Fact: Snoring indicates possibly there's a narrowing or collapse of the airway when the patient is asleep which deprives the brain of oxygen and results in unrefreshing sleep. It actually tells you that you need to see a doctor as snoring does put pressure on your heart and causes cardiac issues, blood pressure and diabetes. 

Myth: A person who sleeps anywhere during the daytime is a good sleeper.
Fact: It is actually the opposite and should be checked with a specialist. 

Myth: Alcohol helps one get good sleep.
Fact: While alcohol can induce sleep early, it disturbs sleep architecture through the different stages. It causes disturbed and restless sleep.

Myth: Sleep less, work hard if you want to move ahead in life.
Fact: Not having enough sleep can significantly reduce work efficiency.

Myth: Watching television can relax you before sleeping.
Fact: It is a completely false statement. In fact, it can lead to sleep problems as you tend to stay awake for a longer time. Watching TV before hitting the sack can disrupt your sleep.

Here are some useful tips for better sleep:

1. Create a sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at a particular time regularly, including on weekends and holidays.
2. Have a good and peaceful bedroom environment by choosing a comfortable mattress and pillow, agreeable temperature in the room, minimum noise and light exposure.
3. No screen time for at least an hour before going to bed. Even restricting screen time 30 minutes before sleeping has shown benefits.
4. Eat light and nutritious food at least two hours before sleeping. Watch what you eat and drink and limit stimulants such as alcohol, tea, coffee and smoking. Fried food, fast food, spicy food, and acidic foods such as tomatoes and garlic can aggravate heartburn and acidity. So, be careful and avoid having these foods at night.
5. Create a restful environment. Taking a shower and using relaxation techniques do help.
6. Avoid any mental activities such as planning for the next day, preparing office presentations in the bedroom and restrict bedroom activities to sleep and sex only.
7. Limit daytime napping.
8. Manage your stress.
9. Including physical activities in your daily routine helps.
10. Exercise daily to get better sleep at night.
11. Those people who work the night shift should avoid caffeine that can lead to alertness, avoid rotating shifts and should sleep immediately after work.

Kovale adds, “It's always better to sleep when it's dark because it matches our circadian rhythm or the internal body clock. For shift workers, it is difficult to maintain the sleep routine but taking naps in between might help.”


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