BEST SLEEPING POSITIONS TO AVOID SLEEP DEPRIVATION

We had a great week on the most talked aspect of life: “Sleep” and it was a very fun filled and informative week. Yesterday we saw Dr. Anupam spoke about the time we waste spending on sleep only which ultimately make us unproductive.  And tonight I will talk about “our sleeping positions & patterns” which might end this week with little more fun. 

I was reading an article by  Melanie Curtin. She states, “A human being will actually die of sleep deprivation before starvation–it takes about two weeks to starve, but only 10 days to die if you go without sleep.” This implies how important is sleep in our life.

But I was quite amused to read her this line when she says, “Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases that include hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, and cancer. It’s thus vital to get enough shuteye, but it turns out your sleep position also has a significant impact on the quality of rest you get.”

So a good sleeping position is also important for a good rest.

My Mom says when I was born I was found sleeping with my one leg up on the other like a “Nawab” (Moughal King). Wish I have a picture of that… But I don’t have. 😦

2e20abbf26a05dd92451ebc1d2f5ae54215d43b1But do you know what is my favorite sleeping position now? I love to sleep with a pillow between my legs and belly… Something exactly like this as shown in the picture.  

Yeah yeah I know you find it funny… Now stop giggling… 😉

Actually, I have seen many people sleeping like this. Even one of my cousin brother also sleeps like this with his mouth opening a bit especially when he is fast asleep. We always tease him for that. 

CXPYWT_2372416kSome people sleep lay straight on their back and sleep flat like my wife sleeps. I really can not sleep like that at all. I feel breathless. I can sleep for sometime like that but not for more than 10 minutes. 

PJ-BL956_YHEALT_P_20130114210754Some people even like to sleep on their stomach exactly reverse of the previous position. Sometime I like to sleep like this also.

For some people positions doesn’t matter. They can sleep anywhere at any positions. Like my Dad, he can sleep literally in any position and anywhere. One of colleagues is the same. I had taken a number of pictures of him during the office hours. 

Following are some funny sleeping positions which I had collected for all of you… they are really entertaining:

man-sleepingThis guy reminds me of my cousin about whom I mentioned earlier in this article.

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kids-sleeping-positions-funny-21

funny-fun-humor-lol-sleeping-positions-people-pics-images-photos-8

Funny-pictures-of-couples-sleeping
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kids-sleeping-positions-funny-45

sleeping-positions-of-funny-girl

On a serious note I just want to conclude my article mentioning about the right position of  sleeping according to the neuroscientists. 

sleeping-couple-160426Neuroscientists emphasize that sleep reenergizes the cells of our body, aids in memory and new learning, and clears waste from the brain. Clearing wastes from the brain being the most important among all other.

Sleeping on our side’ is the most helpful of all sleeping positions in regards to clearing out waste from the brain… that’s what a neuroscience study suggested.

Melanie ends her article by quoting the neuroscientists and experts as under:

Sleeping on your side is good for more than just optimal brain functioning. It’s helpful for those prone to snoring, those with obstructive sleep apnea, neck and back pain, and for pregnant women. The position elongates the spine, which helps with back pain, and mechanically opens the oropharynx, which can help with breathing.

For best results, sleep experts, chiropractors, and physical therapists recommend the following:

  1. Lie on your side, but not in the fetal position. (Some bending of the knees is fine, just not all the way up)
  2. Use an ergonomic pillow under your head, thick enough that your neck is supported
  3. Place a small pillow between your legs, such that your spine stays straight

Then, count sheep. 

So friends! Start practicing to sleep enough without distractions, but don’t sleep too much to be called as lazy and unproductive and don’t forget the right position of sleeping: “Sleep on your side” to get the best out of your sleep.

GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT!

Stay Blessed!!!

SLEEP LESS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

” The next time you are rudely awakened by restless children or overtly loud planes in a dawn chorus, remember this , for Penelope Cruz, nothing less than 15 minutes will do”
      Penelope Cruz , Hollywood Actress

Most people sleep more than they need to. They fall into the trap of spending some of the best hours of their lives on a mattress. They squander their potentially breathtaking gifts under the covers. They lose The Battle of The Bed. They trade their greatness for a snooze
button.

Here’s an insight I invite you to consider: sleep begets sleep. The more sleep you take, the more you need. Ever noticed that as you sleep more, you feel sleepier? Strange isn’t it.
But it’s true. Yes, I get that sleep is essential to keep us bright and renewed and healthy. My fear is too much sleep. The kind that keeps great people small. The kind that minimizes high-potential lives. The kind that sucks the living out of human beings destined to shine (and you know who you are). Happens to a lot of us. Because we fall in love with a pillow.

Evidence suggests that taking excessive sleep is counter-productive because you are more likely to wake up depressed and miserable. Research also suggests that if you are already sad and miserable, actually reducing the time spent sleeping can be of benefit.”
In fact, scientists still know very little about what constitutes the perfect night’s sleep and why we seem to need so much of it. Despite centuries of endeavour by some of the finest minds, the biological function of sleep remains a mystery, and precisely what
goes on in the brain and body during it is also unknown. As late as the middle of the last century, sleep was thought to be a time of inactivity when the brain switched off and took time out, but it’s now known, thanks to modern scanning equipment, that the brain is
highly industrious during sleep. The eyes may be closed, but behind the shutters there is a hiveof activity.

One of the most persistent theories down the centuries has been that sleep is needed to allow the body to rest. But research shows that sleep deprivation has little effect on the body.

“If you deprive people of sleep, nothing seems to go wrong physically. We can usually rest and relax quite adequately during wakefulness, and there is only a modest further energy saving to be gained by sleeping. When we go without sleep it is our brain and thinking and behaviour which is affected more than anything else,î says Professor Horne. Sleep appears to be triggered by the discharge of particular nerve cells in the brain. These cells fire off messages telling the body to wind down and chemicals that cause drowsiness begin to circulate in the blood. Once we are asleep, there are two different types, REM or rapid eye
movement, which is the time for dreams, and deep sleep when there are no dreams.
The purpose of deep sleep,it’s suggested, is to allow the brain to recover from the day’s exertions,a time for it to regenerate and reorganise. It is thought that four hours is needed for this. While the body and its vital organs are kept ticking over, the brain works off-line on a variety of housekeeping tasks, including remembering, prioritising and filing experiences of the previous waking period.

Hormones are also produced during sleep to carry out running repairs and to boost the immune system ready for the next day. The skin, too,gets a helping hand, and so do muscles. Dr Neil Kavey, director of the sleep centre at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, says that sleep improves muscle tone and skin appearance. “With adequate sleep,athletes run better, swim better and lift more weights. W e also see a difference in immune responses depending on how much someone sleeps. 

Sleep is also the time when the body does most of its repair work, muscle tissue is rebuilt and restored. We know, too, for example, that growth hormone is secreted during sleep.î
Professor Horne says sleep must serve some vital function other than just energy conservation: “Whereas the body can relax and recover both when we are awake and asleep, the brain can’t switch off during the waking time. The idea that you can rest your brain without going to sleep is nonsense.

“While you are awake, the brain is in a state of quiet readiness ready
to respond. Even during sleep it only goes offline in the first four
hours, when some kind of recovery seems to take place.”

The importance of those first four hours may explain why some people can get by on a few hours’ sleep. Research suggests the average adult needs seven to eight hours a night, though, according to the National Sleep Foundation, only a third of us manages that. Disturbed or interrupted sleep is a common problem, although it seems to be normal for most people to wake once or twice a night. Sleep disturbance only becomes a problem if the sufferer feels tired during the day. Insomnia is lack of quality sleep rather than lack of sleep, and sufferers – up to a third of the population at some time – may have unwanted awakenings,difficulty in falling asleep or daytime
drowsiness.

Two out of three people in Britain suffer from insomnia, mostly linked to stress and anxiety, according to one study. People heavily involved in their work and job are among those at higher risk, especially in the 25-35 age group. And Sunday is the night of the week when we have the most sleep difficulties, possibly because the brain is already preparing for the week ahead. So is the Cruz school of laziness any better for us? Professor Horne is not convinced: “It is all too easy to eat and drink well beyond our biological need – that second helping of enticing dessert, the delicious ice cream, another pint of beer … the same applies to sleep,” he says.

“Sleeping for nine or more hours a night is not necessarily beneficial to health. We have studied people who extended their sleep for many nights,remaining in bed for 10 hours after lights-out and sleeping for as long as they wanted.“They gained little and discovered distinct disadvantages – it took them longer to fall asleep, they woke up more during the night and
found getting up in the morning to be no easier.”

MY LOVE STORY- BOLLYWOOD STYLE

Hi everyone,

Before all of you jump your guns,  it’s my romance with nothing but “Sleep”.  Yes its my sweetheart, in fact it is every adult’s sweetheart, who is busy toiling in everyday circus of life.

Sleep is not only my sweetheart, but my travel agent because it takes me to exotic locations on earth, deep into the ocean, high on clouds;  its my manager as it manages all my appointments with VIPs all over the world be it Obama (American President), Narendara Modi (Indian Prime Minister),  Amitabh Bachan (Indian actor) and the list goes on.  So who doesn’t want such a love interest.  And when I say I love “Sleep” I mean it, no ambiguity, and it’s not “I love you as my friend” 🙂

Now coming to my love story every afternoon and every night, in fact every minute I sit idle my darling says “main aayi aayi” ( I am coming), but I say, correction I have to say reluctantly “nahi nahi abhi nahi abhi karo intezaar” ( no-no not now, you have to wait).  In a fit of anger  my darling asks me why I say “bartan bula rahe hain, cooker seeti baja rahi hai” ( dishes in kitchen sink calling me, pressure cooker awaiting me).  Finally in the dead of night we embrace each other.  But just as no love story is complete without a villain we have a villain too in our fairy tale, and that’s “Alarm Clock”.  Every morning when I am lost in blissful arms of my love this villain shouts “subah ho gayi maamu”( wake up it’s morning).  And just like in a chase scene of a Bollywood drama I dodge this villain by pressing snooze button.  But alas I have to surrender to this cruel call of duty and get up singing “raat ka nasha abhi aankh we gaya nahi” ( night’s intoxication is still in eyes).

That’s why I request my love, let’s fly and go to LA LA land where there are no alarm clocks.  And I can sleep forever, err, not forever as neither I am a beauty as in fairy tale sleeping beauty waiting for my prince charming nor I am Urmila- mythological character again waiting.  I just want to have ammmmple sleep.

Isn’t it everyone’s love story?  Do let me know 🙂

SLEEP WALKING COULD BE DANGEROUS

I woke up with a jolt and found myself sleeping in an awkward position. Suddenly, I remembered that I am alone in the house because both my room-mates were out of town. Just then my fear of being alone came back to me. Earlier that night, I had taken extreme care to make sure that all doors and windows are absolutely locked and my room door is also bolted. There had been a theft in the neighborhood and that was what worried me. Before going to sleep, I made sure that my room door is closed tightly so that even there is a theft – at least I would be safe. Now when I woke up at about 3:50 am, I saw that my room door was wide open. I remembered closing it – how did it open then? In that very minute, my heart rate must have increased to a dangerous level. I almost believed that there is somebody else in the house too or there already has been a theft.

Collecting all my courage I walked out of my room to check. Everything was as I had left with just one difference. The balcony door had only one bolt whereas I had put 2 bolts. How was that possible? There was nobody else but me – so how did 2 doors open up on their own. Nothing else seemed to be out of place. I tried to think hard and I got a hazy memory of talking on phone in the balcony – maybe that was a dream. I tried to meditate to remember what actually happened. And after a few minutes I realized what must have happened. I walked in my sleep – I took my phone went to the balcony, dialed my boyfriend’s (now husband) number, he obviously did not answer. I then bolted the balcony door just like I usually do and came back to bed to sleep, while get on to the bed – I woke up. Dialed list on my phone confirmed, I actually called my boyfriend at 3:48 am in my sleep and with hardly any memory of it.

I have been a sleep walker and talker since ever. And I have done more dangerous things than this in my sleep. Thankfully, there had been no accidents yet. I did quite a lot of research on sleep to get rid of this dangerous habit. I realized one thing was very clear that whenever I was stressed about something or slept with some worry on my head, I would almost always sleep talk or walk. In this case, it was the worry of the theft that caused it.

I tried various things and one among that was to keep a sleep journal. I learnt that mostly dreams combined with stress levels causes it. And dreams are like episodes of a TV series, if we could remember them we could have a look at our subconscious and would know exactly what stories are cooked there. In this sleep journal – I logged my thoughts just before going to bed. Also I kept the journal just next to me, so whenever I woke the first thing I would do was to log my exact thoughts. Whether it was midnight, early morning or late morning – I made sure that I always log my very first thoughts. After a couple of months of doing this, I could figure out a pattern in the relation between my dreams and my thoughts just before going to bed. It was a very interesting pattern and told a lot about my personality too.

I combined this with regular meditation just before sleeping and it helped a great deal. I also made sure that I never slept off while watching TV or reading a book. Writing the journal and meditation would be last things I do before going to bed – no matter what.

Now after 6 years of marriage – my husband has only witnessed some blabbering but thankfully no adventurous walks in my sleep.

THE INVADER CALLED NIGHTMARE

I woke up breathing heavily and drenched in sweat. I glanced at the clock. It was 2:30 in the night. Engulfed in darkness and brooding silence I came to realize that my heart beat was racing against time. I reached for the bottle of water and glass kept on the desk. As I gulped down my second glass I felt a chill down my spine. I turned but there was no one. I looked around the room, searching through the darkness, absurd shapes forming in my mind but there was not a trace of my oppressor. I went back to bed exhausted but wide awake. The rest of the night was spent tossing and turning until the chirping of the birds put me to sleep. It was one of those nights where I encounter uncountable horrifying images surrounding me. Other times the sickening memories of my troubled past come looking for me. Anxiety builds during some other nights where I spend the whole night anticipating about my future. All I want is peace. And sleep that brings forth peace.

I retire for the night. Today I was lucky to have my cousin come over to my place to accompany me throughout the night. I could not take chances after yesterday’s night. I tried to close my eyes but found myself looking for shapes in the darkness again. I turned by back towards my cousin who was sleeping as if she has sold horses. A moment later after calming myself I turned to face my cousin. To my utter horror I found someone sitting at the edge of my bed. I let out a groan and slipped under my blanket. In a slow motion I started to pull down my blanket revealing my eyes to see if the apparition was still there. What I had thought to be someone from underworld was just my cousin’s knee thrown high up in the air. I heaved a sigh of relief and nudged the figure beside me so she would change her position. She and her faulty sleeping habits.

As I positioned myself to sleep again I heard a thud from the next room. I gathered some courage and got out of bed. I stuck myself against the wall and peeked into the room to see what was there. With horrifying eyes I saw the swing in the room move all by itself. I was dumbfounded. I froze in my place. Then from nowhere a tiny soul appeared and brushed against my feet. It cried, “Meaaow” and yawned and stretched. It was none other than my cat Minty who was up to her regular mischief. Taking her in my arms I cradled her. She purred and slept off enjoying the warmth of my arms. The creature has no such nightmares as I do.

My experiences with these invaders of sleep are numerous. My imagination runs wild with nightmares. The fact that they are a part of our lives cannot be neglected. But sleep is a beautiful gift given to humans. I did embrace the beauty of it. And if you watch me sleeping you will think I haven’t had a nightmare ever. Such is the ‘oh-so-harmless-tender-sleep’.

I can recall lines from the tragic play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare where he talks of the nature of sleep. Thus says Macbeth, “innocent sleep that straightens out the tangled silken threads of care, sleep that brings each day to a peaceful end and is a relief to a wearied labourer, sleep which is a healing medicine to the troubled mind and the most nourishing dish served by nature in the feast of life”.

SHHHH… DON’T SHOUT JUST SLEEP!!!

Sleep talk is always fun for the person witnessing it. I remember talking in my sleep when I was small and had fever. I used shout, “Devil…devil is there…” I don’t know why I was delirious about devil…?

One of my aunties was saying that her nephew started talking once in his sleep saying, “fire fire fire…” She got up from sleep really scared looking here and there to see where the fire was. Then she realized that her nephew was dreaming and woke him up.

I had heard many talking in their sleep but they were not clear. Once I heard my sister counting, ‘1…2…3…’ That was really funny. I had shared about this with my brothers & sisters and we had a great laugh.

After my marriage I discovered my wife also speaks in her sleep almost every day.

Once she said, “mein ud ke jaoon?” That was in Hindi which means, ‘Should I fly away?’ And I immediately answered her in Hindi ‘han jao’ (yes you can). She turned to the other side and slept without waking up. Next morning I told her about that and she started rolling on the floor laughing.

When she joined a primary school, she was really busy and very stressed out both physically and mentally. One day while sleeping, suddenly she said something for which I woke up and saw her hand raised and coming towards me. And there, she hit me on my shoulder saying, “where is your copy?” Then she immediately woke up and started rubbing and massaging my shoulder saying, “sorry sorry I hit you…” When she finally realized what she did, we both started laughing loudly in the middle of the night.

Another time I was having a disturbed sleep. I got up for nature call and then I was just loitering near the bed when she started talking deliriously, “sit down” and I was so shocked thinking why she is scolding me at the middle of the night. But she slept again and slowly I lied down on the bed too and slept.

Whenever the topic comes up, she keeps asking me again and again about what she spoke. She even shares about her father who calls his friends or colleagues by their names during sleep and shouts at them. Those are all fun stuff.

Before I conclude on our bedroom humor, I just want to give very little information about sleep talking on a serious note. Sleep talking can be loud, small talks or long speeches, once or can occur many times during sleep. The listener may or may not be able to understand what the person is saying. The other name for sleep talking is ‘somniloquy.’

The Wikipedia describes it like this: “Somniloquy or sleep-talking is a parasomnia that refers to talking aloud in one’s sleep.”

Sleep-talking usually occurs during transitory arousals from NREM sleep or it can also occur during REM sleep while dreaming a dream. The causes of Sleep talking are not completely known. Many times the cause of this sleep talking cannot be allied with any particular problem or disease. It is very commonly seen among many people. There is no such specific cure for sleep talking and it’s rarely counted as a disease. So let’s have fun talking in our sleeps but be careful, we may tell some secrets to our spouses that way…Lol. 😉

The above hilarious sleep talking stories bring us to the main subject matter of this week, ‘SLEEP,’ which we will be discussing throughout this week.  

The web definition of SLEEP is – “a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.”

Who doesn’t like to sleep? Raise your hands… Actually, nobody will raise their hands, because all of us love to sleep and sleep…

But do we know the benefits of Sleep???

After a good research on the matter of sleep I found out few benefits of good amount of sleep daily.

I thought of highlighting few important ones as under:

  1. Learning capacity increases as the people with good amount sleep learned well than the people who were awake for 30 hours without sleep.
  2. Accidents will be lesser for the drivers who have good sleeps every day. Drowsy drivers cause more accidents the study shows.
  3. You may be sick with type 2 diabetes, due to lack of enough sleep.
  4. Sleep helps to stay stress, depression free and helps to have a good mood all the time.
  5. Adolescents who sleep enough are less likely to abuse alcohol.
  6. There will be less headache when somebody gets sufficient amount of sleep daily.
  7. People with enough sleep daily are more productive at work and accomplishing assignments.
  8. We see well when we get sufficient amount of sleep daily.
  9. Sleep reduces different health hazards like cold, flu and even heart problems etc.
  10. Sufficient sleep a day helps the people to take good decisions.

God created mankind and asked them to rest on the seventh day of the week. The meaning and implication of that REST is probably different than just sleeping but sleeping is the major part of that word. Sleeping is of utmost importance in a human being’s daily routine. God created sleep to keep the mankind function well and take wiser decisions in life and live happy.

So friends! Allow your body to calm down and sleep well when you are supposed to sleep, away from all distractions.

Stay Blessed!!!