Sleep is an essential function that helps in recharging our bodies and minds. Moreover, healthy sleep also helps the body in remaining fit and it staves off any diseases. When we do not get enough sleep, our brain does not function properly and it can impair our abilities to concentrate, think clearly and process memories. An adequate amount of sleep that an adult requires ranges from seven to nine hours.
However, work schedules, day-to-day stressors, a disruptive bedroom environment and medical conditions can prevent us from receiving adequate and peaceful sleep. Hence, a healthy diet and good lifestyle habits can ensure a good amount of sleep each night. However, for some people chronic lack of sleep may be a sign of a sleep disorder.
Sleep reflects one's state of mind and overall health in general. A good sleep is one which is age appropriate in duration, qualitatively divided into various sleep stages of adequate periods and which eventually makes a person feel refreshed in the morning and through the day. Although there is a wide variation in the amount of total sleep required by healthy adults to maintain a good daytime function, it is widely accepted that a good, consolidated 8 hours of uninterrupted night-time sleep is essential for majority of adults.
An adequate amount of sleep duration is extremely important to maintain good mental and physical health. A sleep deprived person often experiences decline in cognitive function, poor memory, inability to concentrate on tasks at hand and easy irritability with frequent mood swings. Even if the sleep duration is adequate, an interrupted and disrupted sleep with poor sleep quality devoid of deep sleep is also associated with excessive daytime sleepiness with declining cognitive function.
Lack of good sleep, both in terms of duration and quality, can adversely affect the physical wellbeing with such individuals being more prone to develop both infectious as well as lifestyle related diseases. With the millennial generation adopting a 24-hour lifestyle without any defined periods of sleep, increase in the total screen time during COVID-19 lockdowns due to exponential increase in online classes and meetings, and poor sleep hygiene, have all resulted in a variety of sleep disorders.
Ultimately, this very important aspect of keeping people healthy is not only being ignored but also leading to abuse of sleeping pills, alcohol and smoking. With rising stress levels and a constant pressure to meet deadlines, it is extremely important to maintain a work life balance and give oneself adequate opportunity and time to have a good night sleep. If anyone experiences any kind of sleep related issues, these should be brought to the immediate notice of the sleep physicians and expert opinion must be taken for timely diagnosis and management.
All in all, sleep is good and necessary. For adults, getting at least seven hours of sleep ensures proper daytime functioning which involves being alert for the day and being able to concentrate and not moody and tired through the day. Creating a night time routine that ensures that your mind and body are relaxed can be helpful in ensuring a good sleep for all individuals.(By Ayush Gupta)
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37 or 38 weeks pregnant, the finishing line seems so close yet so far. As one inch closer to their due date, often patience runs out and you may be ready to try everything possible to help induce labour naturally.
most women choose to speed things up naturally with food choices. Some look at these food groups as old wives' tales since there is limited evidence to prove these are hundred per cent successful in aiding labour.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf is known to help strengthen the uterus muscles and tone the pelvic floor- both of which can help prepare for the process of birth.
Studies have revealed that red raspberry leaves can help shorten labour and decrease the likelihood of a C-section or chances of an assisted birth using forceps/vacuum.
These leaves are commonly consumed in the form of tea by brewing the leaves in boiling water and then consuming the same. Since raspberry leaves can increase the frequency of Braxton hick's contractions, it is recommended to consume these past 34 weeks.
The orange and ripe papaya although thought to be prohibited in pregnancy can actually be consumed occasionally in moderation and is no longer considered harmful for pregnant women. However, it is the green unripe and raw papaya that contains latex, which is believed to have properties similar to that of the hormone oxytocin (released during labour for uterine contractions).
For this reason, unripe papaya is often a food choice amongst pregnant women who are naturally trying to induce labour during their last couple of days of gestation.
Pineapple is yet another fruit that is generally avoided by most pregnant women during pregnancy. Unfortunately, not many seem to know why this norm is popular.
Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain which is believed to cause cervical ripening. Cervical ripening is the first step towards cervical dilation which could eventually lead to labour.
It is believed that the highest concentration of bromelain is present in the core of the pineapple. Pineapple is therefore consumed by pregnant women often in the last weeks of pregnancy in a bid to aid cervical ripening.
It is believed that dates can help with the process of cervical ripening while also improving the spontaneity of labour & reducing the chances of postpartum haemorrhage.
Studies have revealed that those who consume dates in their third trimester have a shorter first stage of labour and a quicker rate of cervical dilation.
It must also be kept in mind that although dates are high in fibre, they do contain high levels of sugar and are therefore to be avoided in cases of gestational diabetes or for those who have a yeast infection in pregnancy (yeast feeds of sugar).(Dr. Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy/Childbirth & Lactation Specialist)
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Gluten is a family of proteins mainly found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It contains gliadin and glutenin. The elasticity of dough is because of its gluten content. Gluten gives a chewy texture and desired shape to the product. In some people, gluten causes inflammatory and autoimmune reactions, where it mainly destroys the tissue of the small intestine and gut lining. In human body absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestine, so in such cases, it is very important to follow a gluten-free diet for good gut health and nutritional status. Now let's know about the two grains which are naturally gluten-free and have many health benefits too:
Millet is one such ancient superfood that gives many health benefits due to its nutritional content. It helps to strengthen the immune system, promote good bone health and aids in weight loss. It contains all potential antioxidants which prevent ageing and metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia etc. We know that many diseases occur due to our body's acidic pH. Where a diet rich in alkaline foods are required. So this grain is alkaline in nature, preventing acidity and heartburn issues.
Health Benefits of Millet:
It's a good source of B vitamins like niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. These nutrients help to perform many enzymatic reactions in our body and are also necessary for the normal functioning of the organs.
Millet contains an insoluble fibre known as prebiotics. It supports good bacteria in the gut. Insoluble fibre helps to relieve symptoms like constipation, bloating, gas and cramps etc.
It can be a healthier grain to include in your diet if you want to protect your heart. It contains a good amount of magnesium which helps to control blood pressure. Millets are rich in dietary fibre too (both soluble and insoluble fibre) which makes it a good choice for people who are suffering from high cholesterol levels.
It's low in simple carbs and high in complex carbs (a low GI food) and hence its consumption is good to control sugar levels and aids in weight loss.
Millets are rich in antioxidants and phenols especially ferulic acid and catechins. Antioxidants help in reducing oxidative stress in the body and boost immune functioning. The darker millets contain more antioxidants compared to the lighter ones.
It is one of the nutrient-rich grains for pregnant women as it is rich in iron, protein, antioxidants, dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate. All those nutrients are required more during pregnancy. Its high iron content improves haemoglobin levels. Dietary fibre prevents constipation and helps to lower blood sugar levels in gestational diabetes. Calcium and folate help in fetus development. Magnesium and potassium manage blood pressure.
And other information for those who are trying to conceive, that this grain can help you. The science behind that is, grains that are high in complex carbs and low in refined carbs prevent a surge in insulin resistance and preserve ovulation. Also, women suffering from PCOD should add this grain to their daily diet. As it helps to cut down the visceral fat, thus regulates the menstrual cycle.
Buckwheat is not a type of wheat, it's a gluten-free grain that comes under the group of cereals commonly called pseudocereals. As it doesn't grow in grass, it's a plant just like quinoa and amaranth. Basically, it is a seed that needs grinding to make its flour. We all include this grain in our diet during fasting days. But do we know its amazing health benefits?
Health Benefits of Buckwheat:
It is more satiating than any other grain due to its power loaded nutrient and complex carbohydrate content. And this helps to reduce weight as it keeps you full for a longer time and prevent you from binge eating.
Iron is very important for our body's normal functioning. Deficiency of this mineral leads to anaemia, weakness and fatigue. Buckwheat is a good source of iron. So make this grain a part of your diet on non-fasting days too.
It is rich in magnesium and calcium, minerals that are required for healthy and stronger bones and teeth, promotes growth and development.
Among the other pseudocereals, buckwheat is a rich source of rutin antioxidants. It contains other antioxidants too like quercetin. Rutin has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to remove potentially harmful substances called "free radicals" from our bodies. And thus it boosts immunity.
It's a rich source of plant-based protein, especially contains a good amount of aspartic acid, arginine and lysine amino acids. These amino acids help in the regularization of hormones in the body. Studies show that intake of lysine may reduce anxiety also improves calcium absorption.
Because of its miraculous nutritional content, it can be a superfood for pregnant women. And it's totally safe to have during pregnancy as it has a good amount of folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, dietary fibre and essential amino acids. Folate supplementation is needed during pregnancy or before conception. A diet rich in folate helps to prevent neural birth defects. Also, it contains a higher amount of dietary fibre, including all three fibre soluble, insoluble or resistant starch.
The role of fibre in our body is to delays the metabolism of sugar and to keep the digestive system healthy. So consumption of this seed will keep you at bay from general problems that occur during pregnancy such as constipation, gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Research says that intake of lysine with iron and vitamin supplements helps to improve hemoglobin levels in pregnant women.
It will be a great choice for women who are planning to conceive, as buckwheat is a good source of folic acid which helps in releasing eggs during ovulation. Also, it contains a rutin antioxidant that promotes the circulatory system in women. Its high fibre content will help to lose weight in PCOD. It has been found in studies that it lower the testosterone levels by which regulates the ovulation process.
Here is one nutritious recipe you can make by using these two grains:
Millet and buckwheat bhel with the goodness of iron and calcium:
Whole millet grain (boiled): ½ bowl
Buckwheat seed (boiled): ½ bowl
Steamed moong, Kala chana sprouts: ½ bowl
Tossed mushroom: ½ bowl
Green apple: ½ bowl chopped
Lemon: as per taste
Salt and pepper: as per taste
Take a pan and boil whole millet grain and buckwheat seed in water on slow flame till it gets transparent. Drain the extra water and take out the boiled seeds in a bowl. Now add steamed moong and Kala chana sprouts. Meanwhile, toss the mushroom in a pan for few minutes. Add chopped green apple and tossed mushroom in a mixture and flavour it with salt, pepper and lemon.
You can enjoy this bhel as a mid between snack or in dinner.
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Do your children wake up late every day? Then, you should be happy as it is a good sign that your child is sleeping well. But you have to worry when the child fails to wake up even after several alarms and you literally have to drag your child out of the bed. There are many children who fail to get sound sleep at night and feel lethargic and are unable to focus on studies during day time.
Is your child cranky? Is your kid unable to concentrate on studies or do their daily chores with ease? Then, he/she must encounter sleep problems. Yes, you have heard right! Many children become night owls, and that takes a toll on their overall well-being. Sleep is vital for young children. Early in life, one experiences tremendous development that impacts the brain, body, emotions, and behaviour and sets the stage for their growth through childhood and adolescence.
Having a sound sleep at night can help children lead healthy lives. Thus, from babies to school-aged kids and teenagers, parents might be keen to know many hours of sleep is essential for their child.
New-borns' need to get around 14 hours of sleep, infants need around 15 hours of sleep, toddlers need approximately 14 hours of sleep, pre-school children need around 10-13 hours of sleep while school-going children of 6-13 age need around 9 hours of sleep.
Here are a few foolproof tricks to help your child get sound sleep at night:
* Allow your child to get at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep every day without fail. If your child has a habit of sleeping late then make bedtime earlier half-an-hour as doing so will help your child wake up on time, and he/she will not have to miss online classes.
* Try to maintain the same schedule and your child will be able to sleep peacefully and complete his/her sleep properly. Create a consistent bedtime routine to calm down the child and make him/her sleep on an immediate basis.
* You will have to limit your child's exposure to electronic gadgets at least 1 hour before sleeping. Do not allow your child to play games on the mobile or watch television before hitting the sack as doing so can snatch away the child's sleep.
* Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, particularly in the second half of the day as it hampers good sleep. Don't let your child drink a lot of water before sleeping as he/she will have to make continuous trips to the loo and the sleep will be disturbed.
* Maintain good lighting and temperature in the kid's room. Don't fill up the child's bed with toys and heavy blankets that will suffocate the child and make him/her uncomfortable. Use a good pillow and mattress that will support your child's back and neck. Improper mattress and pillow can lead to back and neck pain.
If your child has any sleep problems such as loud or heavy breathing, snoring, and even waking up after regular intervals then you need to consult the doctor. Make sure your child gets enough sleep on a regular basis so that he/she can stay healthy and hearty.
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New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) India on Wednesday again registered growth in the daily Covid-19 cases and reported a total of 35,178 fresh cases in the past 24 hours.The daily new cases are nearly 40 per cent increase from Tuesday's 25,166, the lowest in 154 days. A total of 440 deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll due to 4,32,519, said the Covid bulletin released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.India's recovery rate from the Covid infection currently stands at 97.52 per cent, the highest since March 2020. The active caseload registered a decline of 2,431 in the past 24 hours, the total active caseload stands at 3,67,415, the lowest in last 148 days. The active caseloads constitute 1.14 per cent of total cases, the lowest since March 2020, as per the bulletin released by the health ministry.As per the health ministry data, total 37,169 patients were discharged from the hospitals and health centers in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 3,14,85,923 to the date in India. The weekly positivity rate remains below 3 per cent for the last 54 days and currently stands at 1.95 per cent. The daily positivity rate continues to remain below 3 per cent for 23 continuous days and currently stands at 1.96 per cent.Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 vaccination coverage crossed 56 crore-mark on Tuesday. Cumulatively, 56,06,52,030 vaccine doses have been administered through 62,67,149 sessions, as per the provisional report on Wednesday. A total of 55,05,075 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, said the health bulletin.--IANSavr/dpb
Lucknow, Aug 6 (IANS) As many as 34 new cases of Coronavirus infection have been reported in Uttar Pradesh in the past 24 hours and three persons have died due to complications caused by the virus.The new cases took the state's overall tally to 17.08 lakh of which 16.85 lakh people have recovered.The health department bulletin indicated that new cases were reported from across 19 districts with Lucknow and Varanasi accounting for a maximum of six cases each.Officials informed that 10 districts in the state have become free from Covid while another 13 are in the queue with just one active case left.The state is left with 659 active cases in 65 districts.Lucknow accounts for the maximum number of active cases with 60 followed by Kushinagar where 50 active cases are left. The remaining 57 districts have less than 25 active cases.Officials reiterated the importance of Covid-19 vaccination and following of Covid appropriate behaviour in wake of the anticipated third wave. They said that despite the decline in cases, prevention was essential as the state was not completely free from Covid.The official spokesman further said that 10 states were witnessing a surge in new cases and chances of infection cannot be ruled out till every eligible person gets vaccinated.--IANSamita/dpb
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