The scenario has changed drastically in a matter of just about five years. As Hansal Bhachech, a consulting psychiatrist, tells us, “The number of cases where youngsters below 30 come and complain about their sleep patterns has gone up significantly . Our first question to them is about their usage of mobile internet the previous night, which is the root cause of the problem. Till five years ago, only people above 50 came and complained about insomnia. While things like exam stress can cause temporary insomnia in youngsters, their browsing habits during late hours is turning this into a long-lasting problem. While the duration of sleep may remain the same, the irregular sleeping pattern can lead to issues like hypertension and obesity too.“
So how does one cope with this addiction?
Says Bhachech, “We first explain the cause of the problem and then, suggest ways to deal with it. For instance, not replying to comments on social media after 10 pm is a good habit to inculcate. Also, alternatives like reading really help.“
TOUGH TO RESIST THE URGE:
For those whose schedules are hectic, resisting the urge to be online all the time is a tough one. As actress Samvedna Suwalka puts it, “You don’t even realize when browsing through social networking sites almost becomes an addiction. Staring at the screen keeps you awake at night and falling asleep becomes difficult. It had become a habit for me as well but then, I decided to discipline myself. While I used to sleep with the phone next to me earlier, now I try not to use my phone before going to bed. I keep it away from the bed and also try to read something meaningful before going to sleep, instead of staring at the mobile screen.“ Actor Vikee Shah seconds her, “At times, we have night shifts while shooting and you want to share something interesting on the social media to keep people posted. In our generation, nobody goes to sleep by 10 pm and late evening is a good time to catch up with friends online.However, it is important to strike a balance. Being a fitness conscious guy , I go to sleep by about 11.30 pm and sleep for at least eight hours. I don’t use my phone once I hit the bed.“
THE NEED TO DRAW A LINE:
For celebs, discipline is crucial and they make sure that the addiction of being online doesn’t get to them. Table tennis champ Harmeet Desai tells us, “Sportspersons have a fixed schedule to follow and I don’t get too much time to browse through social media. It’s only during the weekend that I am a bit lenient with these self-imposed restrictions and since I have early morning practice sessions, I can’t afford to check my smartphones late in the night. I go to sleep by 10.30 pm.“
Probably, a digital detox after dinner won’t be such a bad idea. Remember what life away from the smartphone did to a wonder girl named P V Sindhu?