It’s risen with increase in screen time
Insomnia, a sleep disorder, is not recognised as a disease but many suffer from it.
According to Mayo Clinic, insomnia can make it hard for a person to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or cause a person to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. It affects a person’s health, work performance and quality of life.
Aadrita Chowdhary, a student at TISS, Mumbai, said she had trouble falling asleep during the lockdown and used to sleep mostly early in the morning. When The Observer asked her whether she consulted a doctor, she replied in the negative.
She thought her sleep pattern would get better once she was back to her normal life, and it did.
Trina Banerjee, a clinical psychologist, said she had encountered people having stigma about mental disorders; but over the past few years, it has decreased due to the influence of social media. In general, people visit doctors frequently but rarely people visit a psychologist.
Insomnia can lead to other health issues like abnormal weight loss, hormonal imbalances in women, she added.
Anxiety and depression can lead to insomnia. During the lockdown, due to online classes and webinars, screen time increased for people of various age groups which, leading to insomnia. Over the past three years, Banerhee said she has treated almost 500 patients who suffered from insomnia.
Rachna Sharma (name changed), who suffered from insomnia for five years, shared that because of depression, she was unable to sleep properly at night. It started around six years ago due to a strain in her marital life; it continued to be mild before it ended. She consulted a psychiatrist who advised her to take hormone-balancing medicines which she did not.
Later, Sharma realized she was resistant to accept the reality and her psychological and emotional mindset were disturbed.
Shatabdi Ghosh, 23, a student, said that after 19 hours of attending classes and doing assignments, she feels tired but cannot sleep.
Rachna Sharma informed The Observer, that when she was suffering from insomnia, she started following spiritual gurus. One should always keep the mind preoccupied with something one is passionate about, and not overindulge in anything.
Due to social stigma prevalent amongst the public about mental health, disorders like insomnia and other diseases are not addressed. At times they are left untreated.