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A note on the issue: The way we sleep

While the flurry of reports and studies released to mark Sleep Awareness Week sketch a somewhat unclear picture of the way Indians sleep, one thing is clear: we need to sleep more

Indians are often highly sleep=deprived due to poor sleep hygiene, anxiety and smartphones (iStockphoto)

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There have been a flurry of reports and studies this week, Sleep Awareness Week (12-18 March), which sketch a somewhat unclear picture of the way Indians sleep. Some reports conclude that we are sleeping better than we were two years ago at the height of the pandemic, some say we are completely ignorant of sleep health, and others insist we know everything we need to about sleep hygiene but continue with our bad habits. One thing is certain though: Indians want a good night’s sleep but often have trouble getting it.

Also read: Why sleep is important for your health and well-being

It’s not just insomnia or disturbed sleep that’s a concern; some people oversleep or feel tired through the day and most wake up feeling deep fatigue. Anxiety and stress are among the reasons we toss and turn but the larger concern is that more than 85% of us use our screens late into the night and postpone our bedtime. The demand for products that induce sleep, including trackers and specially-shaped pillows, has risen. Our cover story this week delves into the reasons behind India’s growing sleeplessness, the sleep debt we have racked up and its effect on health. The pandemic has had an impact from which we are slowly recovering though covid-19 has left its mark on our dreams, as researchers from Bengaluru’s Nimhans, who have just completed a new study, tell us.

Among the other stories in the issue is a piece on the work of writer and poet Vinod Kumar Shukla, who won the PEN/Nabokov Award Lifetime Achievement Award last week.

Also read: Sleep tourism: why are people going on vacations to sleep?

We have two beautiful travel pieces with rivers as their centerpiece. In one, the writer spends a weekend in Haridwar and comes away oddly calmed by the bustle of life on the banks of the Ganga. In the other, we travel to Scotland’s Speyside region, one of the six places that brew fine whisky by the river Spey. As always, there are reviews of shows, books, art, fashion and food. That’s a lot of reading that won’t make you fall asleep, but it won’t keep you up at night either.

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