Monday December 18, 2017

Are you sleeping right? Here are 11 facts about sleep from the doctor himself


By Dr. J.K. Bhutani

After good stomach (appetite), good SLEEP is a fairly good indicator of sound health.

We all need sleep, as much as we need food, water and oxygen to survive, propagate and work effectively as a human race. Good natural sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being.
We need sleep as much, for a variety of benefits and functions of brain and body, as we need it to connect with the piety GODLY soul in us all and for much of our dreamy-worlds, fantasies and aspirations.

The intended ‘night-time benefits’ are built in our species survival and adaptation to the DIURNAL rhythm of the planet mother-EARTH. Human sleep and wakefulness periods follow a natural, circadian rhythm influenced by external environmental cues, most important being the sunlight.

  1. The photosensitive-retinal-ganglion cells have a pigment melanopsin, which, after getting activated by light, regulates the synthesis of MELATONIN, the sleep hormone from pineal gland. This neurohormone, along with other endorphins and well-being hormones, plays an important role in sleep-awake cycle and circadian rhythms.


  1. There doesn’t seem to be any one system-organ-tissue-cell or the micro-organelles (cilia, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria etc) within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally ENHANCED by sleep, and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough of it.


  1. Sleep enhances the learning capability, helps cement recent memory, erase the superfluous or erratic and re-energizes the emotional circuits to cope effectively with unpleasant emotion, grief or loss.


  1. SLEEP boosts our immune system to ward off or fight infections, sickness, to keep malignancy away and also optimises our body’s energy balance, glucose-insulin responses and our food assimilation eventually. Weight-obesity-Hypertension and Cardiovascular diseases are proven outcomes of sleep deprivations, studies show.


  1. Sleep, analysed scientifically, consists of 4 phases. From Awake to Light/NREM(Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement), to Deep/REM and repeat. These cycles are of 90-120 minutes and we need 3-4 such cycles normally. The NREM or light sleep refreshes our body-muscles-physique and NREP sleep energizes our brain. Both light and deep sleeps are needed for the optimal body-mind functions.


  1. Our current PERCEPTIONS and PRIORITIES regarding sleep, its need, nature and quality are not healthy and are rather cynical of its INEVITABLE NEED and quality. We all need 7-8 hours of sleep, different from infants who may sleep for 14-16 hrs and adolescents who may need 10 hours for optimal growth.


  1. The sleep has to be natural too for the intended benefits. WE need to ADOPT and develop significantly better methods for creating NATURAL sleep as the sedatives-alcohol or tranquilizers do not give WHAT a natural wink, short nap or even one cycle of 2hrs sleep can. Alcohol may appear to allow people to fall asleep quicker but it reduces the REM sleep and thus, is not energising for the brain.


  1. Lack of REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and much of the hangover phenomenon symptoms. While sedatives and tranquilizers may be a sleep aid in insomnia patients, but they have less rejuvenating and restorative sleep benefits. They also have a potential to cause addiction, substance abuse and often hamper with respiratory muco-ciliary clearance and are often associated with many health problems. The litany of benefits of the natural sleep are legion and need to be propagated with same fervour as are the benefits of organic foods in the public perceptions.

SLEEP – hygiene is a collection habits and practices conducive to sleeping naturally and well on a regular basis. Some STEPS which can help are listed below.


  1. Try honouring the body sleep schedule/ rhythm, even on weekends and travel days. A routine of physical exercise helps release endorphins and wellness hormone which can help induce natural sleep.


  1. Keep electromagnetic away for at least 2 hrs before sleep time. All LED bulbs, laptops, tablets, cell phones, LED TVs and even LED digital clocks can affect melatonin production and potentially mess with your sleep cycles. A relaxing thought-meditations or a story book is a better option.


  1. Have a comfortable temperature, good mattress-pillow and clean bedroom ambience.
    Avoid tea/coffee/ stimulant energy drinks and alcohol. And having a firm belief in the goodness and hope helps.

SLEEP, if called a THIRD PILLAR of sound health after diet and exercise, should be APT!


Dr J.K. Bhutani, MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self-healing powers of human organism. Twitter: @drjkbhutani

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Are you having Trouble Sleeping? These Insomnia-Inducing Habits Could be Blamed

Are you having trouble in sleeping. Pixabay.

Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your mood and overall health. It is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Nowadays people are sleeping less than they did sleep in the past, and their natural sleeping pattern has been affected by various outside interferences.

It has been advisable to take a minimum of seven hours of sleep each day, unfortunately, we perform such activities before going to bed that restrains our mental state of mind from sleeping. Thereby, causing insomnia in our regular daily life. Below are the things that you do unintentionally and increase your own trouble before sleeping.

Using an Electronic Device/ Smartphone for texting or entertainment

Avoid the urge to text and use your smartphone while sleeping. Pixabay.

We often stick to our electronic device for the whole day making us continue with the same in the night before sleeping. Electronic devices like e-readers and smartphones, or even television can disrupt sleep if watched while or before sleep. Keep a note that you’re suffering from Nomophobia if you sleep with your phone in or near your bed and get the urge to use it. It disturbs your brain after you’ve already retired or fallen asleep.

Drinking Coffee/ Tea

Avoid intake of caffeine before sleeping. Pixabay.

Though you might love to drink a cup of coffee after your dinner, avoid it to the extreme extent. Coffee and tea contain stimulants of caffeine that disrupt your sleeping pattern. Do not intake caffeine after the evening if you desire to spend a peaceful night. Drink herbal tea which does not have composition of caffeine in it.

Eating chocolate

Chocolate is a rich source of caffeine, especially dark chocolate with high cocoa contents. If you are sensitive to caffeine, eating chocolate or drinking tea/ coffee might not do the desired role to keep you awake. Chocolates increase the heart rate, thereby affecting your sleep.

Skip your wind-down time

When you admit you can’t shut your mind off in bed, it’s often because you haven’t given yourself adequate time to rest and relax in the past hour. Take to bed after 30 minutes of your thought process of the day and put away anything that is provoking you and your night. To avoid any chaos, make to-do lists for the next day and plan up your day in advance.
Having Chocolate or heavy food should not be consumed before bedtime. Pixabay.

Checking your work email

The blue-light-emitting device can overstress your body affecting your sleeping rhythms, and force you to check your work emails repeatedly before bedtime. This kind of mental disturbing activity will make you nervous or agitated and also unfocused for the next morning.

Eating spicy or fatty foods

It is not preferable to have a large meal too close to bedtime else you are sure to feel uncomfortable while sleeping. Spicy or fatty foods are capable of refluxing the acids of our body which is processed easily when a person lies down at night. You should try to fix a proper time for your dinner at least two hours before sleeping to enhance the process of digestion.

Drinking Alcohol/ Smoking

Nicotine increases the risk of insomnia. Pixabay.
Alcohol does trick you into a drowsy state but as your body begins to metabolize the alcohol, you will feel the restlessness throughout the night and wake up tired with a dizzy and aching head. Smoking is injurious to health, we all are aware but it also disturbs your sleep. Nicotine acts a stimulant in your body worsening your insomnia. You need to consult a doctor for quitting nicotine consumption, be it traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smoking cessation patches, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.

Working out too intensely

Heavy Intensity workout may disrupt your sleeping pattern. Pixabay.
Exercising before bed is a healthy habit to promote your sleeping habits by treating insomnia. But to put your body into high-intensity exercise in the night does not affirm that you’ll have a great night. You need to have an early workout session to ensure your body has ceased from the energized stimulations at the gym.

Getting into a fight

Avoid fights causing stress before sleeping. Pixabay.
There’s a definite reason couples are advised to never go to bed angry. Stress causes insomnia, increasing your stress hormones like cortisol. So, avoid serious conversations for the night and discuss them in the other time of the day.

Alter your routine

You should follow a certainly specified routine of carrying out activities before bed on a fixed time. This ensures a good sleeping hygiene and sends your brain a signal that you are going to sleep in a rest awhile. Do not alter that consistent routine often to maintain a healthy mind and brain before and after sleeping.
 -Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Melatonin May Help Treat Blood Cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma, Claims a New Research

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research

Melatonin produced by a gland in the brain can help treat blood cancers
Melatonin may help treat blood cancers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have discovered that Melatonin may help treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma 
  • Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in coordination and synchronization of internal body functions 
  • Anti-cancer actions of melatonin are expected to be helpful in facilitating basic research 

Washington D.C. [USA], September 3, 2017: Researchers have discovered that blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma may be treated with a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain.

Melatonin, a hormone produced by a small gland in the brain may be able to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, according to the researchers.

The findings suggest that melatonin performs a number of tasks such as boosting the immune response against cancer cells, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and even protecting the healthy cells from chemotherapy’s toxic effects.

Melatonin’s involvement in regulation of circadian rhythms may help in the coordination and synchronization of internal body functions. The timings of he melatonin treatment may be grave in regard to their anti-cancer effects.

Senior author Yang Yang hopes that this information would prove helpful in the design of studies concerned with the therapeutic efficiency of melatonin in blood cancers.

Also read: Arthritis drug could cure blood cancer: Researchers

The researchers have noted that the anti-cancer actions of melatonin will be helpful in facilitating clinical applications and basic research.

The study has appeared in British Journal of Pharmacology.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Do You Feel Sleepy Post-Lunch? Well, Take a Look at the Possible Reasons!

Feeling sleepy after lunch. Wish to take a nap. Heavy lunch makes you feel lethargic.

Post lunch siesta in office hours . Pixabay.

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Have you ever wondered that from the total office hours, why is it only post-lunch that you feel like slugging away? What could possibly be the reason behind these post-lunch slumps?

Most of the people tend to grab a bite from outside eateries. They eat anything that they feel like such as pasta, bread, burger etc., without even giving a thought to what kind of food they are in-taking. Is it high in protein, carbohydrate or fat? This thought never comes to their mind.

The main reason behind this drowsiness is not the lunch but what we consume in the lunch. It is basically due to the chemical changes in the body during the digestion process that you feel sleepiness.

After the meal, our body generates insulin to regulate blood-sugar levels. The amount of insulin released primarily depends on two main factors. First, the type of meal i.e, whether it is rich in protein, carbs or fat. The other factor is the size of the meal.

Heavy lunch in the office hours. Pixabay

If we have a large meal, then the amount of insulin released will be more and vice-versa. With the secretion of insulin, our body also produces Serotonin and Melatonin. Similar is the case with the protein-rich diet. The protein contains Tryptophan amino acids, which is used by the body to produce Serotonin.

Serotonin and Melatonin are basically neurotransmitters that have a calming effect and help regulate sleep. When they get metabolized in the brain, they induce drowsiness.

Moreover, the body streams more blood to the digestive system to digest food. If you opt for a heavy lunch, then post-lunch, your body would stream more blood to the digestive system. And for that period of time, most of your body’s energy would be used by your digestive system and not by your brain. This makes you feel lazy and forces you to go for a siesta.

So, do not opt for heavy lunch. Instead, have a heavy breakfast so as to set good energy level for the day and then eat small meals throughout the day. This is the way to adios to the post-lunch sleepiness.

prepared by a Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31