INSOMNIA & MENTAL HEALTH – THE NEXT PANDEMIC

With the spread of globalization, the economic activities have increased many folds and have uplifted a lot of people from abject poverty. Even communist country like CHINA has accepted the globalization and got highly benefitted while creating wealth for its citizens and also becoming the factory of the world. Along with CHINA, capitalists from rich countries have also generated an enormous amount of wealth in the last 3 to 4 decades due to the increased amount of trade and commerce. However, with increased wealth, the stress factor has increased to many folds due to the pressure of performing and delivering on quarter to quarter cycle. With various tools and processes, the productivity has increased a lot, but the nature of GREED has no limit. It only knows how to get more with less time and less cost. This has brought a lot of mental health-related issues to a lot of people, as the winner takes ALL, in this type of rat race. The loser has to sacrifice big so that the winner is celebrated. The fear factor of losing and the related anticipation and burden of commitments create a huge imbalance in the mental state of people across the world. This has given a big boost to a lot of lifestyle-related diseases along with globalization.

I feel mental health is one of the major dark sides of globalization and steroid-based growth.  This has created a major health problem that is totally invisible and people fear to talk about it due to various stigma attached to it. So, it is a major silent killer in the new age globalized society.  The first symptom of mental health is SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Humans can stay hungry for few days or less food. But without SLEEP ?? Not sure how long the equilibrium of the brain can sustain. Our brain neurons will start behaving erratically to make us unstable and making us a mental health patient in no time.  So the most important and essential part of our life is sleep as the brain needs it. Recently a lot of super fits and regular gym-going corporate executives have died of cardiac arrest. They have fallen suddenly with massive heart failure making us think to find the root cause. In most cases, those people are highly successful in the corporate world while carrying life of low amount of sleep. This has brought LACK OF SLEEP/ SLEEP DEPRIVATION as a major silent killer to the forefront of the discussion of a healthy life.

As per the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)  US has already declared that insufficient Sleep is a public health problem. More than 3rd of American go through sleep deprivation. This is an alarming trend in the most developed country in the world. This is not exclusivity of US only . Other developed countries like UK, Germany, Japan and Canada are not far behind. With 24/7 modern work culture and stress factor due to globalization, use of various types of substance and lack of physical exercise has created a chronic disease among these highly educated and  productive work force.

The INSOMNIA/ LACK OF SLEEP  is the next pandemic that is in the slow and steady growth stage. It has a huge economic impact if it is not handled correctly. Sleep deprivation links to lower productivity at work and loss of workdays.  This also incubates other lifestyle diseases like Diabetics, Hypertension, BP, heart ailment, Obesity, etc. All these health problems on most productive people create a huge health care burden on the country as well on the economy. Following is a % of loss of GDP on most developed countries as per the study by RAND Europe.

With China and India most populous countries in the world, joining the economic growth bandwagon, The future data will be more devastating than as shown above. It is another major pandemic that is already on our doorsteps, which needs to be handled more delicately rather than current virus-based pandemic like CORONA.