Tag Archives: sleep

Sleep Tight, Sleep Right

A good sleep cycle ensures optimal health, so monitoring how you sleep and practicing proper sleeping habits is essential for a healthy and fulfilling life. There are many adverse effects to improper sleep: Harvard Medical School found a strong link between depression and insomnia; one out of five Americans have obstructive sleep apnea; and an NCBI report also speaks of the elevated cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus risk observed in South Asian population and the potential of sleep interventions to minimize this disparity.

Mattress Matters

During sleep, our bodies repair themselves having a healing effect on our psychological processes as well. According to the Harvard Medical School, there are more than 70 types of sleep disorders with the most familiar being insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and narcolepsy.

“While several factors affect sleep quality and cause sleep deprivation, one of the major causes that can usually escape our notice is the mattress that you sleep on. A bad mattress can ruin your sleep, making it hard for you to fall asleep as well as stay asleep for eight to nine hours every night. It can also impact the blood circulation in the body, affecting the amount of deep sleep and rest you get during a sleep cycle. And if you have sleep-related health issues and even chronic back pain, then a bad mattress can further worsen your condition. Therefore, investing in the right kind of mattress is extremely important to improve your sleep quality,” says Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director & Co-founder, Wakefit.

Mattresses being made at the Wakefit factory.

A good mattress should distribute your bodyweight uniformly so that you do not wake up with pain in your neck, shoulders, and hips. The mattress should not unnaturally bend your spine thus causing back pain and postural defects.

Smita Murarka, Vice President, Marketing & E-commerce, Duroflex adds, “a comfortable and supportive sleep surface is the key to unlock great sleep. Our range of mattresses and research-backed and scientifically engineered to provide optimum support and comfort. Our signature range Duropedic has an advanced 5 zoned orthopedic support system that provides differential support for different parts of the body. This technology has been tested and recommended by doctors by the National Health Academy.”

Act Now

Lack of sleep can have significant repercussions on one’s physical and mental well-being. The weakened immune response, decrease your ability to concentrate, impair your cognitive function, increase the risk of injury and physiological ailments, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes among others. Lack of sleep can have an adverse on your mental health as well. It can impact your mood, ability to handle stress and reduce emotional resilience. If you are experiencing morning headaches, daytime fatigue, loss of focus, you must consider getting tested.

“The recently launched OneSleepTest by Ectosense with a small disposable NightOwl sensor is a comprehensive and reliable home sleep test kit that guarantees accurate results. It provides a verified e-report from a sleep physician and sleep coach assistance enabled by ResMed in 3 to 5 days post the test period from the comfort of your home,” says Dr. Sibasish Dey, Head, Medical Affairs, Asia and Latin America, ResMed.

Tech Talk

Digitization in the healthcare industry has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and has brought it to our homes’ comfort. With cloud-connected technology and remote monitoring, most mild to moderate sleep disorders can be treated without having to be hospitalized and in a cost-effective way. With the availability of numerous sleep tracking devices and apps, it has become easier to understand your sleep patterns and even identify disturbed sleep reasons. You can wear tracking devices on your wrists, clip them on your pillow, or rest on the bedside table.

Balasubramanyam SV, Founder, Durfi Retail says “we recently rolled out India’s first Hempseed oil-infused mattress, Durfi is the first company to develop and marketing this product in India, this product also a blend of tech and tradition. Hempseed oil infused cotton candy memory foam mattresses are India’s first natural oil-infused mattress, the mattress surface is softer and cozy, the mattress provides great comfort to the body posture.”

Tools & Techniques

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing therapy that uses natural plant essential oils to promote health and well-being and can have a positive impact on sleep too.

Lotus seeds and milk from ITC

“Lavender, Marjoram, Chamomile, Sandalwood, and Neroli are the main ingredients that have shown properties of calming the nerves and promoting relaxation. They can be taken in the form of teas, rubs, in diffusers, in your bath or directly applied to the skin before bedtime. However, the right combination and formulation is important,” says Karina Kapoor, Brand Head of Puressentiel.


Bindu Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and photographer from Bangalore who likes taking the offbeat path when traveling. Birding and environment are her favorites and she documents her work on www.bindugopalrao.com.


 

The Health Edit

With 2020 just a few weeks away, many of us have put broken resolutions firmly behind us. After all, what could be more promising than the prospect of a new year that offers renewed hope for health and happiness, just waiting to be unwrapped come January.

Don’t hold your breath.

Healthy habits don’t need a new year. Instead, take time out to kickstart a few simple changes in the run up to 2020. Twenty days can make a difference  –  some changes can actually be habit forming!

So be good to yourself – edit some bad health habits in five simple steps.

Move
Walk up a flight of stairs at least once a day or find time to walk at least 15 to 20 mins while listening to your favorite music. Go for a run around the block or on a treadmill; how about a 20 minute bike ride? Even a swim!

Sign up and go to that keep fit/exercise class you’ve been putting off or simply stretch for ten minutes.

Why not? Our bodies were meant to move!  The sedentary lifestyles we’ve adopted are compromising our health –   “excessive sitting” which most of us are guilty of, is linked to back pain, stress, arthritis, obesity and hypertension – and some more serious illnesses.

So, get physical – it’s our natural state. When was the last time you played fetch with your dog, or tag with your kids or danced round the kitchen table to music you love?

Shake your body out of its default stillness setting – and teach your mind to be still instead.

Cut the Carbs
Year end party food can be a minefield of sugar, salt and soda. Low carb diets work if you are disciplined over the long term – but it’s time to go cold turkey. What do you have to lose but weight, and a boost to your health if you are on the diabetic spectrum?

Just say no to rice, bread, potatoes, pasta and cereal, in the next twenty days – if you miss it that much go ahead – resume your refined carb fest in 2020, but you might surprise yourself by saying goodbye to carbs altogether if you jumpstart it now!

Salads and low carb veggies are a creative and fun alternative and, instead of sweeteners or added salt, simply try to enjoy the natural flavor of food.

Sleep More
Do you fall asleep in front of the TV? And take your cell phone and laptop to bed?

The ayes have it!

You know that using  electronic devices at bedtime deter and delay your natural body clock and makes it difficult to fall asleep because your mind is switched on. Skimping on sleep messes with your brain, body, and behavior.

So, create a bedtime routine for at least a week  – set a digital curfew, have a warm shower, read a book.

Repeat.

The science says your brain, heart, lungs, muscles  and stomach will thank you for it.

Dump the Junk
Make what you eat count.

Look through your home (and office) for your secret stash of cookies, chocolate or comfort food and just toss them out. The relief will be palpable, and your belly a little less bloated!
Say no to snacks, fried foods, sodas, and fruit juice and please don’t eat while standing or driving.
Instead of a TV dinner – sit down to at least one meal in your day and savor it!

Eat fresh

Small snacks will tide you over between mealtimes – a handful of nuts, sliced veggies, dried fruit or some cheese.

Try not to eat processed food that presents in a package. Eat clean. Stick to fresh food that won’t harm your health.

Drink more water.
Our body- 60% water. Blood – 90% water. Cartilage- 80% water.

We need water because hydration drives so many human functions that affect our physical and cognitive ability.

A 2% loss of total water content equals dehydration and will cause fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, dry skin, difficulty concentrating, bad breath, mood swings, body aches and headaches.

Most adults go through their day partially dehydrated – so if any of these symptoms seem familiar, fix it with a simple glass of water.

Get rid of “stuff’’
As you rid your body of toxins, tie it together with an end-of-year de-clutter.

Don’t go all Marie Kondo on your home unless you really want to – but start small – clean out a shelf, a closet or a room.

Giving a storage space some breathing room is uplifting for the soul and the space in question.

Why? The science says getting rid of stuff is a great de-stressor – it just feels good!
Having fewer things means having fewer choices and making fewer decisions – so you work more efficiently!

Productivity over picking up  – what’s not to love?

As 2019 draws to a close – go ahead and indulge in the inevitable bonanza of festivity, feasting and fun – but you may be in better shape to meet the aftermath of partying excess if you begin a health edit now.

A new year of change can begin at any time –  use the next twenty days to be good to yourself!

Meera Kymal s a contributing editor at India Currents.

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