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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)
By Plabita Sharma
The World Vegan month of November usually brings with itself an increased amount of dialogue and searches about Vegan lifestyle, sustainable living and clean beauty. Before pondering any further, it is important to understand what the Vegan lifestyle is and how it goes beyond the concept of consuming a plant-based diet. Veganism essentially is a lifestyle that is driven by compassionate choices and an increased awareness of one's actions on the world. Thus motivated by the two, a vegan individual usually carefully curates their day-to-day practices in a manner that does little to no- harm to the planet, the people and all of its inhabitants.
Beauty as industry has time and again been scrutinised for its effects on the consumers and the ecosystem - this can be during the manufacturing process or the effect it has on the consumer's thought processes. Now, as the world moves towards adopting Global Sustainability Goals, committing to a world that works with the natural resources instead of against them - it is only fair for each individual to be curious about making the right choices to make their beauty bag as consciously curated as possible. With multiple brands coming up with new standards of vegan and sustainable beauty, many consumers are left confused and doubting the authenticity of these claims. So here is a quick guide that can help you make the right choices:
Vegan and cruelty free labels: Keeping true to the traditional meaning of Vegan - any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. Similarly, cruelty-free as a label means that the ingredients or the final product did not test on animals or harm any animals during the production process. One way to test the authenticity is to check if these products are legally certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), or verified by Vegan organisations as The Vegan Society and others. Cruelty-free and vegan products are also generally categorized by having cleaner and gentler formulas as they are mostly deprived of harsh chemicals and solvents.
Any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. | Photo by Drew Dizzy Graham on Unsplash
Ethical and natural ingredients: It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. Since most vegan products tend to be plant derived it is of utmost value to ensure that while the source is nature, the impact of manufacturing is also minimal so that there is no harm done to the environment. Often the face scrubs used by us are most damaging not just to the face and to the marine life as well; thus opting for more natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones is quite beneficial. Some natural scrubbing ingredients are sugar, salt, coffee which are safe for the coral reefs and far gentler than synthetic scrubs.
It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Sustainable and ecofriendly packaging: While the ingredients and formulation can be certified, it is also important to pay attention the quality, material and nature of the packaging in which the product is being stored. With an increase in clean-beauty standards, the consumption of such products has also increased, thus giving brands the opportunity to further develop their packaging in a manner that is sustainable and its increased quantity does not harm the environment. This could translate into using raw materials that are recycled and can be renewed or even introducing the concept of up-cycling the product packaging for decoration or storage purposes. Fore example, The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic that can further be recycled thus continuing the recycling system. Their makeup brushes also have wooden handles instead of plastic ones this adds to their classy appearance and use of ecofriendly material.
The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic. | Photo by Oli Dale on Unsplash
The above is a small snippet in a long list of things that can help contribute to a cleaner and more consciously lifestyle. Where demand increase, supply follows - as people begin to demand ethical, responsible production and products, more and more brands have begun to deliver. Household names such as The Body Shop have pioneered conversations on clean, green and sustainable beauty for decades - thus making them a frontrunner for several old time vegan people.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Beauty, makeup, clean, November, World Vegan month, New Standards , Vegan, Conscious
Designer Payal Singhal launched her first ever shop in New Delhi at Aza, Ambawatta One, Mehrauli. At this new location, she also unveiled "Suroor" her Winter Festive' 2021 collection for Women that stays true to the brand's DNA of deconstructing and reimagining traditional Indian silhouettes for the modern aesthete.
The collection is replete with hybrid lehenga with cut-outs, sharara sets, kaftan kurtas and anarkalis; all enhanced with intricate mukaish, zardozi, gota, nakshi, pitta and mirror work. Statement yokes, the latest take on the House's signature back-tie choli, and a new burst of #PSPrints are also an integral part of the collection. For the first time, Payal has worked with bandhanis developed in Jaipur, but with her inimitable twist - using the technique on tussar instead of silks. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, Suroor, New Delhi, Designer, Payal Singhal, shop
Today marks the 114th birth anniversary of Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a renowned Indian poet. He is popularly known for his poem ‘Madhushala’.
Early life of Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Harivansh Rai Bachchan was born on the same date in 1907 in the village of Bahupatti, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in British India. From the year 1941 to 1957, he taught English at the Allahabad University, and after that, Bachchan spent the next two years at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, completing his PhD W.B. Yeats. Interestingly, when Harivansh Rai started writing, instead of using his real surname, Shrivastava, he started using Bachchan.
Career of Harivansh Rai Bachchan
It must be noted that Harivansh Rai Bachchan was well fluent in many languages including Hindustani and Awadhi. Though, Bachchan did not know how to read Persian script, still he was very much influenced by Persian and Urdu poetry. Omar Khayyam was one such personality who influenced Bachchan big time. Some of the most celebrated works of this stalwart are Madhushala (1935-36), Agneepath, Khadi Ke Phool (1948), Dhaar Ke Idhar Udhar (1957), Jal Sameta (1973), etc. Bachchan was awarded with the esteemed Padma Bhushan in the year 1976.
So, on the occasion of 114th birth anniversary of one of the greatest poets of India, we must pay a heartfelt tribute to the legendary Harivansh Rai Bachchan for leaving behind his golden words!
Keywords: India, Artists, Poets, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Literature.