Vidya promotes awareness on good sleeping habits

Mumbai: Bollywood actress Vidya Balan, who was tackling `weight` issues sometime ago, feels the primary reason behind it was insomnia and said she is still trying to overcome the sleeping disorder.

Vidya, who is the brand ambassador for the `Sleep Awareness Month`, said she has been suffering from this problem since her childhood from the age of 12.

"Only 3 years ago there was a realisation that it needed to change. I was really working very hard and then too I was putting on weight. I went to Pooja Makijha who said she will give me a diet and told me but if you don`t sleep right you will never going to lose weight. More importantly my weight had become a talking point, an issue people were writing about that time. It was affecting me," she told PTI in an interview.

"It was not like I am over-eating or not working out. But I was not losing weight and it was primarily because of sleep and also for a reason that I used to have long gaps in between meals," Vidya said.

The actress was not used to sleep before three`o`clock.

"It was important to get 7-8 hours of sleep and I used to barely sleep for three-four hours. Through my school, college and even my working years this continued. I thought it was very cool not to sleep. Now I sleep at 1.30 but I am trying to make it to 12," the 34-year-old actress said.

I like to read at night or I watch a film. I felt like sleep was a waste of time.I thought I don`t need more than 3-4 hours of sleep. Now I just lie and try to relax ," she said.

Vidya feels it is the media and entertainment industry that is more vulnerable among the all and besides that it is due to the pressure to deliver.

"There are several factors like stress, worries or may be you are just a hyperactive person. You need to calm down. How less sleep affected my metabolism, weight, hair, skin, mood and everything is all now realised," she said.

The awareness month of March aims to sensitise people about sleep disorders, the symptoms of which are often ignored. Primarily related to one`s lifestyle, sleep disorders are increasingly becoming common among urban Indians.

"Getting a good night`s sleep is crucial. In case one is facing irregular sleep habits, it is important to approach a doctor," the actress said.

The sleep awareness month will see Indian Sleep Disorders Association (ISDA) and pharmaceutical company Abbott India organise various awareness programmes, including camps, with health care professionals who are experts in the field of insomnia and other sleep-related issues in metros and smaller cities across India.