‘Sleep loss linked to age-related chronic illnesses’

Speakers highlight importance of proper sleep for better immunity against diseases


Noman Awan March 20, 2021

KARACHI:

Sleep loss is linked to agerelated chronic health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression and early age death, highlighted health professionals during a webinar organized in connection with World Sleep Day on Friday.

M Hashim Memorial Trust organised the online event.

''Sleep loss is associated with changes in the immune system and weakening defenses against many viral diseases'', said Prof Abdul Sattar M Hashim, the former head of the neurosurgery department at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. With Covid-19 vaccination having been started in the country, it is vital that people prioritise sleep and maintain optimal health, he added.

Theories related to the immune system and proper sleep, were also discussed during the webinar.

Read: 5 ways to shed some extra pounds while you sleep

Recent studies have shown that normal sleep after vaccination strengthens immune response against invading antigens, said Prof Hashim. Furthermore, it was discussed that inactivity and sleep were beneficial for fighting infections.

Prof Syed Shaukat Ali, the former president of the Pakistan Society of Neurology, highlighted sleep benefits.

"When we sleep, our body recovers, repairing muscles, organs and cells," he said.

Furthermore, links between mood regulation and sleep were discussed at the webinar.

During closing remarks, Dr Ali urged people to establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book or light stretches.

When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before sleeping, he added.

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