India 2024: Padma Shilpa Velkuru | World Sleep Society

Delegate: Padma Shilpa Velkuru

Affiliation: World Sleep Society

Short Bio:

Psychiatrist (Addl: Mindfulness facilitator)

Student of World Sleep Academy

Activity: This project is part of the World Sleep Academy initiative .
The activity focusing on addressing sleep health equity through community health awareness and Prevention was done on two days – March 11th and 12th.
On March 11th from 5 pm to 7 pm a community health awareness activity was done by distribution of
flyers containing information about sleep hygiene on one side and incorporating gratitude journaling/
scheduling worry time for good quality sleep on the reverse, at the Promenade in Pondicherry, where
visitors frequent for a stroll along the beach. Using the flyers – significance of World Sleep Day ,
importance of sleep health/ sleep hygiene/ gratitude journaling was explained coupled with answering
queries about their sleep issues. During the course of my interaction, I learnt that those in shift work ,new moms adjusting to their infant sleep patterns and people who encounter stressors stemming from change in location either to academic or professional reasons are all groups which could potentially benefit from sleep health awareness / educational activities to close gaps in sleep health equity .
On day two – March 12th , an interactive talk for around 2 hours ,from 11 am ,titled “ Prioritize your Sleep, Befriend your Breath “, was given at an event space .The talk focused on , Why sleep is essential
to health , Dimensions of good quality sleep ,the Science of sleep – Process C,S ,stages of sleep (to help
participants understand the rationale behind sleep hygiene practices),effects of sleep deprivation and
sleep hygiene tips along with answering queries from the participants .Later, the group was guided
through a formal Mindfulness Meditation practice to relax before sleep. A short informal mindfulness
practice to de-stress was also taught, in addition to ways to use gratitude journaling, nature therapy for
De-Stressing, as the quality of sleep during the night also depends on the lifestyle choices in general and stress management during the day .
As there is a dearth of CBT-I ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) providers ,especially in developing countries, this gap in sleep health equity can be addressed by teaching healthy de-stressing
techniques to help prevent development of Chronic Insomnia ( according to the 3P Behavioral Model of Insomnia -Stressors – Precipitating factors, if not managed can contribute to development of chronic insomnia
through coping mechanisms – Perpetuating factors).Conducting Community health awareness programs – sleep hygiene/ sleep health education and spreading knowledge about ways to incorporate Mind-Body Integrative practices such as Mindfulness, having a Quiet contemplative practice , Meditation ,Journaling and other creative modalities, can go a long way in prevention of chronic insomnia in future ,
thus bridging gaps in Sleep Health Equity .

Location: Pondicherry

Date of Activity: 11th and 12th MARCH 2024

Submitted by: Padma Shilpa Velkuru