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2020, unfortunately, has been a year that has not brought us much happiness, and for a significant proportion of individuals, sleep disturbances have added to their woes. The lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, have led to significant behavioral changes and adaptations to help individuals optimize their productivity, which in turn, has affected normal physiological processes related to health.
Circadian rhythm disturbances:
Most mammals have a circadian body-clock that rhythmically has sleep and wake cycles. In humans, eight hours of sleep is considered the average requirement for most individuals, and the presence of cues such as external light and temperature influence such cycles. In the pre-COVID era, the timing, duration, and regularity of sleep in most individuals was determined by rigid schedules related to work or study.
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Post the lockdown, this has now been left to the vagaries of the demands of the new normal, and this has caused circadian disturbances. Work/study from home is relatively unstructured, and the increased digital media/backlit device exposure leads to the biological clock getting mixed signals about day-night transition, often leading to delays in sleep onset. A survey conducted among 1511 participants in India revealed that younger individuals and women were more susceptible to these changes, causing a state of “social jetlag”.
When conventional gender roles are in play, working women now have to multitask between household and work responsibilities, in addition to assisting younger kids with online school, and this possibly explains why their sleep schedules have been most disrupted. What has also been reported in studies is that despite sleeping for longer hours, individuals often report a poorer quality of sleep, resulting in feeling less rested.
Social isolation, financial/job insecurity, stigmatization of individuals with COVID-19, the constant media exposure to reports of rising infections and deaths, and stories of near and dear ones succumbing to the disease all lead to a sense of helplessness, anxiety, and depression. Insomnia is a common manifestation of depression, and as treating physicians, we have experienced a significant proportion of individuals report the symptom during the lockdown.
In addition, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, which were reported in up to half of all individuals who suffered from SARS infection in 2003 are likely to affect an equally high percentage of individuals who have had COVID-19, and insomnia is being recognized as a frequent symptom of what is now being called “long COVID”.
A psychological evaluation should be considered in all individuals who are experiencing insomnia, and the temptation to consume sedatives in a knee-jerk manner must be avoided. The elderly are especially vulnerable, and careful attention must be paid to an elderly person who has had new-onset insomnia during the lockdown.
Sleep apnea is one of the commonest sleep disorders in the population, affecting up to 10 percent of adults. Inactivity, weight gain, alcohol consumption are all risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, and lockdowns, by limiting one’s activity outside the home along with binge eating/snacking and drinking might worsen pre-existing sleep apnea, or cause it in individuals who have significantly gained weight during the lockdown.
Individuals who snore loudly, especially if they have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular diseases must be assessed for sleep apnea.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: कश्मीर में पुनः लौटी व्यापार की बयार,बढ़ेगी कमाई….
The importance of sleep to maintain health cannot be overemphasized. It plays an important role in immunity and in recovery from infections. Simple measures that can be employed to ensure sleep hygiene during the lockdown would be maintaining a structure to one’s day and having a constant sleep-wake time.
Avoiding bright lights in the form of devices close to bedtime, keeping the bedroom as dark as possible, avoiding caffeinated beverages for 6-8 hours prior to bedtime, exercising in the morning, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol.
If, despite these measures, one fails to ensure an adequate quantity and quality of sleep, seeking professional help to address the potential underlying causes would be prudent. (IANS)
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India
By- Kent A. Eide
With the advent of technology, privacy and age-related limitations have been done away with. Almost anything is available on the internet in abundance. For those sites where a paywall or a subscription is required, it takes just a few clicks to find loopholes in the workings of the dark web, to manipulate the settings, and to become a full-time user. Similarly, digitisation of almost every industry has allowed access to worlds previously not openly accessible to just anyone. The partakers of this new world, not surprisingly, are children and youth, armed with curiosity and the impeccable ability to navigate the online world with ease.
Gambling has a rather attractive lure, and in a matter of no time at all, it is easy to so involved in it that there is no way out. In such a competitive and fast-paced world, anyone will go the extra mile to earn more money. It doesn't matter what is at stake, especially when young people have not really worked to earn what they are ready to stake.
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In the past few years, online gambling has seen a big boom. Youngsters, especially college students are easily lured into this world, and tragically get enveloped to such an extent that when they find no way out, they end their lives, knowing that they cannot pay back their debts. Many such cases have been reported in many parts of India, and often the victims are those who have newly entered the world and lost their way from the overwhelming amount of particulars available, unsure of how to claim it for themselves. But all this aside, how does one enter this world with so much ease?
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
For starters, the gambling world does not ask for much. Being curious about the industry is enough drive to begin. Wanting to win is certainly an important part of continuing into the deeper forays of the website. Add to the list the comparatively lax entry points. One does not really need to verify their identity and can play under pseudonyms. There is no check on the amount that can be invested, or on how much can be won. Certainly, there is no way to check for the participant's age. When these factors come together, they make a pretty deal to attract even the initially hesitant ones. Beginning the game is only the first step, and once one thing leads to another, before long, it becomes a world accessible on the tip of the finger, literally.
Many online casinos place their advertisement in strategic locations across various sites. The bright colours, attractive names, and irresistible offers read like subliminal messages for those who dream of big bucks, especially freshers in college, who need money to explore their world. It seems like a viable option to test the skills of strategy making while also having extra pocket money to spend.
Restrictions of age, monetary capacity, and sometimes even social status exist only in the offline world. The virtual is a place that can make anything out of anyone. When it comes to online gambling, casinos, and games, this is definitely a plus. It remains open all day long, all year around, and each hour is an opportunity to change the way one lives.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)