The luxury not many working women in Delhi are being able to afford these days is a good night’s sleep. Doctors say the number of women suffering from sleep disorder has increased three times in the last few years — and they are now landing at sleep clinics. "Most are in the 25 to 45 age group," says Dr JD Mukherji, head of neurology at Max Super Speciality Hospital.
"Stressful commutes between office and home and late-night parties are taking a toll too," says Dr Sanjay Manchanda, head, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s sleep clinic. As are hormonal changes triggered of by menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
One needs eight to 10 hours’ sleep, though some can make do with six to eight hours. But while these women may be in bed for these many hours, the sleep is disturbed, says Dr Manchanda, a state that is being referred to as "dissomnia".
Women working in call centres are more prone to sleep disorders, says Dr PN Ranjan, senior neurology consultant at Apollo Hospital
"Sleeplessness makes them anxious and depressed, which in turn prevents them from sleeping well," he says. The problem manifests itself in the form of a headache, palpitation, or lack of appetite.
In 29-year-old advertising executive Ruhi Seth’s case it was headache and palpitation that took her to a doctor who figured out that she was not sleeping well. "I was stressed about a project," says Seth.
Stress is the most common factor for dissomnia, but smoking and alcohol also contribute to it. The doctor’s advice? Avoid alcohol, caffeine, strenuous exercise and spicy food before bedtime.