a year ago

Deepening sleep problems in a chaotic city

File photo used for representation purpose (Collected).
File photo used for representation purpose (Collected).

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In this city of chaos and indiscipline, millions of inhabitants are deprived of a sound sleep. Though there is no extensive data to confirm the assertion, sleep deficiency is most likely widespread in Dhaka. From children to elderly people, almost everybody in the city faces the problem of inadequate sleep for various reasons. No doubt that the prevalence of sleep problems has been increasing across the world. The issue has intensified further during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dhaka is no exception. 

A healthy lifestyle and a positive environment all around are critical to getting a sound sleep. Unfortunately, most of Dhaka's residents are victims of unhealthy and unbalanced lifestyles. Many also suffer from a hostile environment that compels them to compromise on their required sleep. 

Usually, no sensible person will adopt an unhealthy way of life. There may, however, be some deviation in their regular lifestyle which is not a big problem. Those who have adopted unhealthy lifestyle also suffer from sleep disorders. Remaining awake until midnight, watching television or working on a computer or using smartphones is a trend among a group of people, especially some youths, these days. Such a habit gradually leads them to get inadequate and untimely sleep. 

Nevertheless, many people have been compelled to follow unhealthy lifestyle. Thousands of the daily commuters in the city start their day quite early due to chaotic public transport and terrible traffic congestion. To reach the destinations, workplaces to be precise, they have to rush early, sacrificing sleep. Again, most of them also do not get the chance to return early and take adequate rest at home. They return to their homes late, exhausted, thanks to the everlasting nightmarish gridlocks on the roads. 

For many, giving quality time to family members during the working days becomes difficult. They go to bed only to get up early the next day and get ready to rush to workplaces. Tension and anxiety make their life nightmarish and getting a sound sleep is really difficult for them. 

Relentless honking of motor vehicles, careless use of loudspeakers in neighbourhoods and sounds of repairing and construction works at night are regular phenomena in large parts of the city. The residential areas are no more residential in nature. Residents have to struggle daily to get a sound sleep amidst this chaos. They cannot sleep well and ultimately suffer from sleeping disorders. They sometimes take sleeping pills which bring some temporary relief for them. 

It is known to all that sleep is the best medicine for any health and lifestyle problem. A sound sleep has a healing power that other things do not have. The human body needs adequate sleep to function optimally on both physical and mental levels. By compromising sleep, one compromises his or her health. A lack of sleep can make anyone fall ill, although they may be otherwise fully healthy and fit. Inadequate sleep will make someone's condition even worse if they are already suffering from any health-related problem. Getting sufficient sleep daily is the primary step to getting someone's health back on track. That's why the World Sleep Day 2023, observed on Friday last, incorporated the slogan, ' Sleep is Essential for Health'. Just like eating well and exercising, sleep is a behaviour that is foundational to one's physical, mental, and social well-being.

Nevertheless, residents in Dhaka have little control on their lifestyle and surroundings. So, they have to compromise with many personal requirements at a higher cost. A sound sleep is one of the costliest sacrifices.

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