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Sleep Apnea: A serious disorder

In order to function at our potential, it is necessary to get proper sleep. However, many Indians suffer from a sleep disorders. Here’s what you need to know

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In order to function at our potential, it is necessary to get proper sleep
Source: Terry Cralle

According to a 2019 Fitbit study, Indians are the least active and second-most sleep-deprived in the world. The country emerged as the least-active country among 18 countries including the US, the UK, Japan and Singapore, walking an average of 6,533 steps daily.

Therefore, it is common to hear that at least one member of the family snores when he/she sleeps.  The majority of the people ignore it. But there are certain things that one should know about snoring. There are mainly two types of snoring – primary snoring and snoring with sleep apnea.

Primary snoring

It consists of loud upper airway breathing sounds during sleep without episodes of cessation of breath while snoring with sleep apnea is the loud sounds followed by episodes of stoppage of breathing. This condition is called obstructive sleep apnea and tends to get worse with age. While multiple studies have shown that men are twice as prone to snoring in comparison to women.

Sleep apnea

If diagnosed early, it can prevent cardiac disease, brain strokes reduce memory disturbances and irritability and anger. People with primary snoring are advised to weight management through changes in eating habits, exercise, dental devices and laser-based surgery. Some of the most common factors that could result in snoring with sleep apnea increase in the size of the tongue and surrounding areas of the throat, including the tonsils and adenoids and nasal deformities.

In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the gold standard of non-surgical treatment remains using a continuous positive airway pressure machine during sleep.

sleep apnea

However, there have been advances in sleep surgeries in the last five years. Patient selection for surgeries would be based on their body mass index levels and pre-operative sleep study also called pre-operative polysomnographic results. Some of the parameters that can be considered for surgery include basal metabolic rate of less than 40 and patients categorised under mild or moderate or early severe sleep apnea.

Importance of sleeping

Did you know that a good night’s sleep can help boost your immune system? The present pandemic makes it imperative that we maintain high immunity. Proper sleep helps the body to remain healthy and keep diseases at bay. Without enough sleep, the brain can’t function properly and one will feel tired the entire day since the body and mind have not had time to recharge. However, sleep needs vary from person to person, depending on age. As a personage, they require less sleep to function properly.

Sleep according to age

According to the CDC, the breakdown is as follows:

Newborns (0–3 months): 14–17 hours

Infants (4–12 months): 12–16 hours

Toddler (1–2 years): 11–14 hours

Preschool (3–5 years): 10–13 hours

School-age (6–12 years): Nine–12 hours

Teen (13–18 years): Eight–10 hours

Adult (18–60 years): Seven-plus hours

Adult (61–64 years): Seven–nine hours

Adult (65-plus years): Seven-eight hours

Symptoms:

  • Loud snoring. It might come and go through the night.
  • Waking up with a very sore or dry throat. This happens because you breathe through the mouth.
  • Dry mouth, also caused by mouth breathing.
  • Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation.
  • Restless sleep, repeated awakenings.
  • Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day, even after a full night’s sleep.
  • Morning headaches. It might be because of poor sleep or a lack of oxygen caused by breathing problems.
  • Forgetfulness, mood swings, and a loss of interest in sex.
  • Dizziness when you wake up. This may be linked to low oxygen levels.

Nightmares.

If you often have any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with the doctor who may then refer you for sleep testing.

Treatment

Surgical correction of obstructive sleep apnea can be carried out by modification of the tongue base and creating a new channel of airway and surgery to remove tissue and/or remodel tissue in the throat. In select patients, the 30 minutes Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) for obstructive sleep apnea can provide better results than earlier alternatives.

Patients who underwent TORS undergo post-operative PSG four-five months after the surgery. In all such cases, apart from correcting the condition, the patients have seen substantial improvement in their blood sugar levels and blood pressure management.

Correction of sleep apnea through TORS procedure should also be part of the advice provided by ENT and physicians and cardiologists in improving overall comorbidities management in the patient. Correcting this ignored parameter will go the extra mile in remaining healthier through the day as well as maintain a better quality of life.

Short sleep duration is a risk marker and a plausible risk factor for future hypertension in addition to insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes. Sleeping less than six hours a night leads to 48 per cent more chances of developing or dying from heart disease.

At night blood pressure and heart rate decrease during sleep and any disturbance in sleep quantity or quality, explained either by sleep habits or sleep disorders, may participate in hypertension or increase its severity.

The risk of developing hypertension doubles with less than five hours of sleep each night. People who sleep less than five hours or five-six hours have a 500 per cent or 350 per cent higher risk of hypertension than people who sleep more than six hours.

Additionally, sleep duration that lasts less than five hours per night leads to a 39 per cent increase in heart disease. Sleeping for less than six hours per night leads to an 18 per cent increase in heart disease. Studies have also shown that people suffering from lack of sleep reported more problems of hypertension than people without insomnia (43.1 per cent versus 18.7 per cent).

There is much evidence to support a strong association between sleep-disordered breathing, sleep deprivation and cardiovascular diseases. Blood pressure dips by an average of 10-20 per cent during sleep, so shorter sleep duration increases 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. Abnormal breathing during sleep may result in repeated arousal and oxygen dips which seems to be significantly linked to the step-by-step development of hypertension.

A good night’s sleep allows the heart to slow down and the blood pressure to drop for a significant part of the day. However, people who only sleep for short durations raise their average 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. This may set up the cardiovascular system to operate at elevated pressure.

If insomnia increases blood pressure, then interventions that increase the amount and quality of sleep could potentially serve as treatments and as primary preventative measures for hypertension.  Also, hypertensive patients who lie awake at night may be at greater risk for heart damage than those who sleep through the night.

Consequences of lack of sleep

Short-term:

  • Decreased daytime alertness. Loss of just one-and-half-hour sleep can result in a 32 per cent reduction in daytime alertness.
  • Impaired memory and cognitive ability, the ability to think and process information.
  • More than double the risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
  • Impaired immune system

Long-term:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Psychiatric problems such as depression and other mood disorders
  • Mental impairment
  • Increased mortality risk
  • Relationship problems with a bed partner

Obesity:

The link between obesity and sleep is an interesting one as lack of sleep can cause weight gain by increasing hunger and affecting metabolism, and extra weight can cause sleep disorders such as apnea which cause sleep deprivation.

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Lifestyle

5 Tips to Motivate Students For Ongoing Board Exams

Exams are one of the important milestones in a student’s life. Students need motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish exam fear.

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motivation for board exam
Source: India.com

Lakhs of students are appearing for class X and XII Board exams in India every year. These exams are one of the most important milestones in a student’s academic life. Along with this students needs motivation for board exams to pump their confidence and vanish the exam fear. This is why the stress caused during these exams is best addressed than avoided.

The urge to pass these exams with a good percentage can sometimes impact the mental health of the students. They might end up worrying about the exam when they should be focusing all their efforts on revisions.

Exam stress can reduce their self-confidence levels, leading to poor performance and outcomes. Hence, it is very crucial for teachers to boost the morale of the students.

Here is what a teacher has come up with some key tips to motivate the  students right before exams:

Understand Students’ Interests

It is a good practice for teachers to know the strengths and weaknesses of the students. Teachers can know their students better by conducting unique sessions centred around “get to know you” discussions. These kinds of sessions can be held on a monthly basis. Activities like clubbing students with similar interests into groups, and assigning writing or speaking tasks can help in increasing students’ enthusiasm for the subject.

Important To Give Feedback

One-to-one mentoring can be of great help for students to gear up before the exams. This can be an opportunity for the students to clarify all their individual doubts and understand the concepts better. They could also open up about the challenges in studies during these interactions. By providing personalised feedback, teachers can better understand each student’s capability. However, the onus remains on the teachers to encourage the young learners to speak during personal mentoring sessions.

Encourage Collaboration and Competition

Be in touch with students. Teachers should encourage the idea of collaboration and competition by pairing up students. They should be encouraged to justify their ideas or articulate an answer while working in pairs. This fosters peer correction and effective analysis of their own progression. Teachers can promote teamwork and this will help the students to learn from each other. Such activities will also expose them to a diverse set of ideas.

Schedule Regular Breaks

Exhaustion remains one of the biggest reasons for students’ demotivation right before any exam. The ability to think rationally is impaired on a greater scale when a person is tired and studies for long hours without taking timely breaks. It is advisable to have regular breaks during study sessions to strike the right balance between studies and recreation. Hence, teachers should help students prepare study timetables which have regular intervals in between.

Exercise a Little

Stress can be a major contributor to underperformance during exams. It is a proven fact that regular exercise keeps both the mind and body healthy. Practising simpler exercises like meditation or yoga can make the students’ mind feel more relaxed. This will help them to stay composed and concentrate better.

Keeping students’ motivation for board exam peaked during Board exams is of utmost paramount. It is easy to motivate them if they have achievable goals, take regular breaks, revise concepts in advance and perform exercises.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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