Night Owls Beware

Night Owls Beware
Humans are firmly divided into two camps: “Morning persons” and “Night Owls”. Till recently it was considered equally fine if you belonged to either camp. But now evidence is piling up that “early to bed, early to rise” may be good for you. Here are three things to know:

1. Being a night owl is a health risk: A recent study shows that night owl’s are significantly more likely to have diabetes and women night owls doubled their risks of having metabolic syndrome (High blood sugar, high cholesterol, excess fat around waist). This is because our hormonal system is geared to remain awake and alert during the day and rest at night. Eating at night throws things off balance and so does getting light stimuli.

2. You can change your type: The notion that these two categories are mutually exclusive is not true. You can switch from being a night owl to a morning person (and also go the other way).

3. Shift gradually: To switch you have to do it in a gradual manner. The key is to wake up early, get sun during the day, and eat a light dinner earlier than usual. Do this one-hour at a time and stick with it for a week or two and then do another hour, till the cycle shifts. So let us say you wake up at 10 am every day, then start your shift by waking up an hour early, at 9 am, and sleep an hour earlier than your usual time, shifting everything by an hour, while ensuring that you get a lot of sun during the day and tone down the lights and stimuli in the evening. Once this schedule stabilizes, you can shift another hour and wake up at 8 am, moving everything by an hour as you did before. You can continue this so that in a month or two your schedule has shifted to turn you into an early riser. The key is not to backslide on the weekends and keep the discipline.

If you are having metabolic syndrome or you are struggling with diabetes or excess weight you want to be sure that you take “early to bed, early to rise” at heart.

Related: NY Times Article: Being a Night Owl May Be Bad for Your Health

Credits: This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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To Forgive Is To Heal

An extraordinary story that brings together two unlikely characters and puts them on a mission to spread the message of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even bigger is the subtext of their message: Forgiveness is the only way to find healing.

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Love Is Life

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy by Repin

Love hinders death.
Love is life.
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

- Leo Tolstoy

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Five Ways To Better Sleep

Sleep Better Five Tips

Sleep is critical for our well-being. But an increasing number of people struggle with getting proper sleep. Either they are unable to get enough sleep or the quality of sleep is not good. Here are five things you can do to improve sleep:

1. Switch off – Overstimulation and information overload are some key disrupters of sleep. It is important to learn to switch off and unplug. As the day draws to a close dim the lights, amp down the music, disconnect from the Internet, and switch off the TV. Use your smart phone’s “Do not disturb” settings so that the phone does not buzz, ping, beep, or ring at night. If you have sleep issues then you have to go off all stimulants: tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy food, and drugs. If you have to have your tea or coffee then make sure this is consumed no later than early afternoon.

2. Get the sun – Getting enough light during the day is vital for better sleep. When direct sun hits our skin it produces various hormones that regulate our biorhythm. Not only do these improve our mood, they also ensure that we get good sleep at night.

3. Cool off the bedroom – As we enter the deep sleep phase of our sleep cycle, our body temperature drops. If the bedroom temperature is too high or you are too hot inside your blanket then this may interfere with your sleep. Also make sure that there is no TV, laptop, or other distraction in the bedroom and all lights are switched off.

4. Relax – Watching a tense movie or TV show just before going off to bed is not a great idea. Nor is running on the treadmill for 30 minutes just before bedtime. Ideally the evening meal should be light and relaxing, and you should wait for at least an hour after your meal before going to bed. It is a great idea to do relaxing yoga in the evening. Meditating and/or doing breathing exercises that elongate the breath are some activities that can be done with great benefit in the evening.

5. Regular cycle – Our bodies have a biorhythm. We must learn to respect this rhythm. This means it is important to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day of the week. Sleeping late during Friday or Saturday night should be avoided as it disrupts the biorhythm. Sleeping in for an extra hour on Saturday morning or Sunday morning is a good idea but getting up too late may not be a good idea.

Our body performs many vital functions during sleep. This is why lack of enough sleep can shorten your life and also cause weight gain. We find it hard to focus or think clearly if we are not well rested. Both our mood and our memory suffer due to lack of sleep. So it is vital that we take sleep seriously and the tips provided here should help you on the way for some well-deserved restful sleep.

Related:
Seven Sleep Surprises
Can Yoga Help With Sleep?
How To Succeed? Get More Sleep!

Credits: This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Stand By Me

This is a remix performed all over the world by more than 100 musicians, including some very talented street performers. It shows us the transformative power of music and the connection music provides us. This has been produced by Grammy winning Mark Johnson.

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