In Ayurveda insomnia is acknowledged by the name of ‘anidra’. It implies that insomnia can be relieved by balancing intensified body energies. The route it follows? By following suitable lifestyle choices, a customized diet, and taking medicines recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. Besides that, relaxation of the mind is also a crucial part of the treatment. Here are 7 home remedies for Insomnia.
1.Reduce Screen Time
Shut all screens two hours before you go to bed. The blue light emanating from screens affects the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
2.Relax with Yoga and Meditation
Yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are excellent ways to relax the mind and allow it to sleep. Know how meditation can help deal with insomnia.
3.Have This Concoction
Boil 3 grams of fresh mint leaves or 1.5 grams of dried powder of mint leaves in 1 cup of water for 15-20 minutes. Take lukewarm with 1 teaspoon of honey at bedtime.
4.Sip Warm Milk Before Bed
Milk stimulates the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
5.Tap the Power of Ayurvedic Therapies
Ayurvedic therapies like Shirodhara help relax the mind and quell disorders like insomnia. Consult an Ayurvedic doctor to know which therapies are best suited for your system.
6.Sport or Workout
Practice a sport or workout for at least 30 minutes daily to tire your body and channelize the energy. Know how yoga can help you deal with insomnia.
If you are suffering from extreme insomnia, stop consumption of all caffeine drinks, coffee, tea, and aerated drinks. If you are suffering from mild insomnia, then do not drink them after dusk.
Noting that the prevalence of spine problems has increased manifold during the COVID-19 lockdown, a senior Delhi-based doctor says that looking at the increasing number of spine-related cases, it would not be an overstatement to say that there is a silent epidemic building up.
The associated factor is the forced sedentary lifestyle, and prolonged sitting, lack of exercise and poor activity. Poor understanding of spine ergonomics leads to improper posturing and is also contributory, explains Dr. Samir K Kalra, Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
"Spine related consultations have increased and the reason is the primarily sedentary lifestyle that has been forced upon us by the disease. There has been a significant change in daily routine activities in almost everyone's lifestyle in this lockdown period. Backache is considered amongst the most common occupational disorders leading to work-related absenteeism. Neck pain is equally distressing and appalling. They cause a huge economic burden and could become a major constraint in our already weakened economy" Dr. Kalra told IANSlife.
Asked which demographic is most at risk, the doctor points to the elderly among the subsets of people who have been affected more in this period.
"The fact that they already have compromised and weak spinal musculatures along with forced inactivity leading to increased spinal load. The main support for the spine comes from the muscles and it is important to keep them supple and strong. It is difficult for the elderly to do so."
Another subset is professionals working from home, the doctor explains. "Working from home and on laptops for long periods has resulted in a lot of back and neck related issues. This includes not only professionals but also teachers and students who suddenly have been forced to sit for hours and work on screens.
The women of the house are another subset affected due to the additional housework due to lack of domestic help. This coupled with additional stress and anxiety due to the COVID pandemic which is common to all affected people causes a compounding effect."
5 Preventive Tips for Spine Problems
One has to understand that spine mechanics are different for each individual. While there are certain common preventive ways, each person has to understand and make their own adjustments.
This would include individualized height adjustments for everyone during sitting and ambulation based on height, weight, spine length, limb length, and neck angulations. This is easily done and can be preventive of a major morbid situation.
Periodic breaks and stretches also are required to reduce spinal strain.
Attention to posture while sleeping is also important essentially including the correct pillows and mattresses. The spine is a complex system with a limited shelf life, and only by good care, we can keep it healthy and functioning.
It is not the amount of work or the load it bears which causes wear and tear but more so the work is done in the wrong positions which lead to damage.
Globally, one in 11 adults aged between 20-79 years have diabetes, says International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes is a chronic, progressive, and damaging lifelong disease. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body produces insulin but it doesn't respond to it normally. Glucose is unable to enter the cells to supply energy (a problem called insulin resistance).
Dr. Sneha Kothari, Endocrinologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai says: "Type 2 diabetes is no longer an old man's disease. Over the past decades, younger adults and children have been falling prey to this disease. Indians get type 2 diabetes not only at a younger age but also at a lower body mass index. The younger onset predisposes to a greater risk of complications."
Overweight and obesity, previously thought of as conditions of the wealthy, are now increasingly affecting the poor. Around 11-12 percent of kids in the 2-4 age group in India are overweight. There has been a tectonic shift in the lifestyle of families with increased consumption of high-calorie diet, junk food, lesser physical and outdoor activities.
The term 'Diabesity' has been coined to denote the dual epidemic of diabetes and obesity. Also, Type 2 diabetes is a highly heritable condition, with a majority of children and youth affected having a first-or second-degree relative who also has Type 2 diabetes. However, with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, it can be avoided, says the doctor.
Signs & Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, patients can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. The common symptoms are:
Increase in hunger
Unintended weight loss
Complications of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages. Not dealing with diabetes can lead to long term complications like:
Loss of vision
Foot & nerve damage
Bacterial and fungal infection
Thus, it is the need of the hour to manage it and stay in top shape.
Vital Tips for Healthy Life
Follow these vital tips to tackle this condition and lead a healthy life:
Ditch those sodas and other aerated drinks. Drink water from time to time to stay hydrated and improve one's sugar control. Bid adieu to those artificially sweetened beverages and even fruit juices.
Choose healthier carbohydrates. See to it that you follow a diet low in carbohydrates and choose healthy carbohydrates. Too many carbs in your diet can lead to diabetes.
Eat whole grains like brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat. At the same time, it's also important to cut down on foods low in fibre such as white bread, white rice and highly processed cereals.
Eat-in controlled proportions and don't go overboard. This will allow you to manage your blood sugar levels. Also, try to include foods rich in fiber in the diet. Eat broccoli, sprouts, carrot, asparagus, green peas, cauliflower, and even legumes.
Eat less red and processed meat. Red and processed meat like ham, bacon, sausages, beef, and lamb have been linked to heart problems and cancer. Try swapping red and processed meat for egg whites, fish, poultry like chicken and turkey, and unsalted nuts. Beans, peas, and lentils are also very high in fiber and don't affect blood glucose levels too much, thus they are a great swap for processed and red meat.
Choose healthier fats. We all need fat in our diet because it gives us energy. Healthier fats are found in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. Saturated fats like ghee, butter can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, It's still a good idea to cut down on using oils in general, so try to grill, steam, or bake foods instead.
Cut down on added sugar. Cutting down sugar can be really hard at the beginning. Try to swap sugary drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar.
Be smart with snacks. Choose yogurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead of crisps, chips, biscuits, and chocolates. But watch your portions still.
Healthy Lifestyle Help to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
When it comes to exercise, all movement counts! Consider incorporating such an exercise regime in the daily routine to which one can adhere. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends aerobic exercise and strength training for optimal physical fitness.
Aerobic exercise (anything that raises your heart rate) can be achieved through activities such as walking, running, swimming, dancing, tennis, basketball, and more. ADA recommends 150 min per week of moderate-intensity exercise.
Consider parking as far from the door as you can on your trip to the store.
Exercise adds up. If you can't walk for 30 minutes, try three 10-minute walks per day.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you work at a desk, take a standing break every 15 minutes or so.
Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, focuses more on building or maintaining muscle. It improves blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity. Exercise helps to shed those excess kilos, improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and helps stay fit and fine.
Cut down on stress and relax by meditating and help you stay calm and composed.
It helps to stay away from smoking and alcohol as well. Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and its complications. In prediabetics, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression of diabetes.
Cocoa Butter helps moisturize your skin, manage your hair, and is an excellent source of antioxidants. It also helps in boosting your immunity and helps to maintain a healthy heart. Dr. Geeta Grewal, Cosmetic Surgeon and beauty and wellness expert, lists down some of the best uses of cocoa butter.
1. Solution to Mouth Sores
If you are prone to have painful mouth sores or your lips develop recurring blisters, use a bit of cocoa butter to keep them moisturized and it will also reduce the chances of recurring. Apply every day and soon you can overcome this problem.
2. Attractive Brunettes
If you want to make your brunettes attractive by adding some sheen and a tint of color to the hair, a cocoa hair mask is something to try out. Mix a cup of pure aloe vera gel, 1/2 cup of pure cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tablespoon of favorite conditioner (like Suave Coconut). Mix the ingredients in a bowl and you're left with a bouncy, shiny, and great smelling chocolate treatment for brunettes.
3. Helpful for Removing Stretch Mark
If your skin is having stretch marks then cocoa butter is the best way to lighten its mark. Cocoa butter is a thick genuine fat that dissolves at body temperature. Clean the stretch mark part of your skin with soap and let them dry by way of a towel. Apply sufficient amounts of cocoa butter to wrap your stretch marks. Massage the cocoa butter onto your skin in spherical movement until and unless it's soaked up. It's an easy and home treatment to overcome the stretch marks whether it is due to increasing fat or pregnancy.
4. Freedom from Frizzy Hair
You can use cocoa butter to style your hair and keep frizz away as well. Especially in winter one tends to have rough hair, to make it shiny and overcome the frozenness just rub a small amount of cocoa butter in your palms, and smooth over. You can mix a bit of coconut oil or essential oil with it to give it a scent as well.
5. Cure Skin Replenish Problems
If you have any skin-replenishing problem like burns, eczema or infection then rub a small amount of pure cocoa butter into burnt skin to overcome the bruises. Make sure it doesn't contain any alcohol, fragrances, or other additives that end up making the skin even more inflamed and sensitive. It should be pure.
6. Lighten the Scars
You can get a smooth texture to your skin as cocoa butter enters the dermis of the skin and helps to fade the scars, marks, or sunspots on the skin. It has rich anti-oxidizing properties and it is popular for effectiveness in the skincare routine. It has calming properties that have nutritional value and can be easily absorbed. Cocoa butter contains vitamin E and helps in repairing the skin.
7. Smooth Shaves
Prefer cocoa butter for the smooth and non-irritating shave. While shaving mix a bar form of cocoa butter with shave lotions that are absolutely according to your preference. Cocoa butter is good for skin especially when you are shaving in winter, skin becomes rough and dead. So, it will leave your skin incredibly smooth.
8. Heals cracked skin
If your skin is sensitive in winter then try cocoa to heal dead and peel skin. Especially the skin of hands and legs are sensitive and are cracked as it loses its moisture, apply some cocoa butter, and nourish your cracked and dry skin within a week.
9. Upgrade Immunity
As research shows that cocoa butter is helpful in boosting one's immune system. Incorporating more cocoa butter into your diet and lifestyle can also encourage hormonal balance. Some of the medical conditions in which it benefits are mood disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and many more.
If you are so tired or want to unwind from a stressful day go for a long bath. Cocoa butter is an amazing addition to a warm bath. Not only will you enjoy the deep, rich scent of vanilla and chocolate, but your bath becomes a silky smooth haven from life's stress. Drop about 2 tablespoons of cocoa butter in the warm water or you can add and spice up your bath by adding your favorite oil and feel the stress melt away. The same thing can be done for foot soak to heel the dry feet.
11. Good for Heart Health
Cocoa butter reduces the risk of heart attack as it helps with fat metabolism. Recent research is disputing the previous mindset that all fats are bad but we can introduce healthy fats into our diets by adding cocoa butter in our diet. The polyphenolic component of cocoa butter is not bad for heart patients as it can be preferred in the diet.
Cocoa: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects
It's that time of the year when you say hello to all your jackets, hoodies, and warm clothes. Winter is finally here and so are your winter skincare routines. Though people often wonder why they need to wear sunscreen during the winter if they are not exposed to the bright sun.
Having said so, it is wrongly believed that sunscreen is more of an option than a necessity during the winter months. While we conveniently associate cold weather with dry skin and windburns, most people are unaware that the winter UV rays can be every bit as damaging as the summer sun.
Megha Asher, Co-founder, and COO of Juicy Chemistry explain: "The ozone layer acts as Earth's sun-shield and absorbs harmful UV rays. The ozone layer is actually at its thinnest in the winter. Windburn and sunburn also act in unison during the rough winter months. The freezing temperatures and vicious winds that leave your skin dry and agitated allow for UV rays to have a better shot at your skin."
Wearing sunscreen on exposed skin, especially when the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., will keep you protected from these damaging rays, she says.
If you're planning to be outdoors applying sunscreen is very important. For adequate protection, select broad-spectrum sunscreens and lip balms with a minimum of 30 SPF with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredient, for those looking for a chemical-free, reef-safe option, choose sunscreens, Asher suggests.
As there is less humidity in the winters, your skin is constantly stripped of moisture. Dryness reveals every wrinkle and a fine line in the skin's surface, and it makes your skin more likely to crack or tear, exposing you to infection risk. Using sunscreen in the winter can help restore some of your skin's depleted moisture, she says.
"Having said that the sun's rays are known to accelerate the skin's aging process. Sunscreens protect skin from the sun's rays and add moisture back into dry skin, addressing two concerns at once. The daily application of the right sunscreen slows the aging process and making the skin looking more youthful."
The majority of UV exposure in our entire life is UVA which contributes to skin cancer and premature aging. We are exposed to UVA rays every time we step out of our house. UVA penetrates through clouds and also window glass, therefore it is imperative to wear sunscreen even when your indoors, Asher points out.
This season be ready with your healthy and ever-glowing skin with the right sunscreen to bring that winter glow! (Agency)
Heart diseases among Indians occur five to ten years earlier than in other populations across the globe. According to the 2018-19 INTERHEART study, the median age for the first presentation of acute Myocardial Infarct (commonly known as a heart attack), in the South Asian (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) population is 53 years, whereas that in Western Europe, China, and Hong Kong it is 63 years. In India, the most worrying part is that heart ailments among younger people are on a constant rise.
We can easily blame this on the sedentary lifestyle and increased stress levels amongst the youth in India. The young age group of 25 to 39 years is mainly the victim of this kind of lifestyle. With the advent of technology, OTT platforms, mobile games, traditional modes of relaxation like going out with friends for a walk or sports are less common now. Lack of open space for playing, cycling, or recreation in most urban centers is only adding to the problems. Most of our school curriculums also have very little emphasis on sports or physical activity.
A heart attack suffered by a Bollywood choreographer Remo D' Souza at the age of 46 years throws light on the need for addressing cardiac concerns amongst the young population.
Dr. Brajesh Kunwar, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, points out: "The minimum requirement of exercise as per guidelines is 35-45 minutes a day for four to five days a week, to fulfill the requirement of the heart and vital organs. Importantly, there is no work-life balance; the competitive culture of corporate entities has increased man-hours at work leading to chronic stress amongst the youth.
"Multiple other factors like smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity, and hereditary factors play a major role. Smoking is a major dominant modifiable risk factor associated with young Coronary Artery Disease, patients. India is witnessing an increase in the incidence of smoking, especially among adolescents."
Also, it is important to note that our diagnostic capabilities have improved over the years. That's another reason why we see much higher numbers. But that of course is a good part. Having said that, we must understand that there is a critical need to prevent and tackle Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) among youth by way of a lifestyle change, he adds.
Now you might be wondering how people who seem fit or are fitness enthusiasts get heart diseases? Kunwar explains:
The role of genetic cholesterol: Well, while we feel that fitness and exercise are extremely necessary for a healthy life, it is not the only thing that can protect you from heart ailments. The food we eat, the lifestyle we lead, our stress levels, and genes also play an equivalent role. We all know that Indians are predisposed to Diabetes and CVDs, similarly many people also suffer from Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) which is a genetic condition.
People who have this condition are born with it; this defect prevents the body from ridding itself of the type of Cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease. So, people having this condition need to be more careful. There is medication available for treating this condition and patients can easily manage it with the help of a clinical expert.
Stress: A Silent killer: The grinding pace of modern lifestyle distracts our minds and affects our health for the worse. Stress has been said to be a major reason why the younger generation is prone to heart diseases. When you are exposed to long periods of stress, your body gives warning signals that something is wrong.
These physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral warning signs should not be ignored. They tell you that you need to slow down. If you continue to be stressed and you don't give your body a break, you are likely to develop health problems like heart disease. You could also worsen an existing illness.
Symptoms of Heart Attacks
Some of the warning sign of heart attacks include:
- Extreme chest pain and pressure
- Stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sweating, and dizziness
Prevent Heart Ailments
Going forward, it is important to follow these healthy practices to prevent heart ailments at an early age:
- Control your blood pressure
- Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise
- Limit alcohol intake and don't smoke
- Manage stress
- Make sure you sleep well
- Indulge in a moderate-intensity exercise like a brisk walk, swimming, etc. (Agency)