Cock-A-Doodle DO-OR dead asleep

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A MAJORITY of Cambodian adolescents are ‘walking around like zombies’ because they are sleep-deprived. Just to get graphic because to compound that discovery, a report from Harvard Business Review said lack of sleep will kill you more quickly than lack of food.

Even small amounts of sleep deprivation can take a major toll on our health, mood, productivity and cognitive ability.

In Phnom Penh, Parul Lanka, a director of the Art of Living Cambodia, who is an expert in the field of well-being, uncovered a disturbing fact in her yoga classes: that 90 percent of the Cambodian adolescents who joined her class seeking meditation, had one thing in common — they cannot sleep at night.

This might sound normal but it could be more harmful to your overall health than you think.

In light of the recent revelation, GT2 ran a Google cruise to show how sleep, or lack of it, can really cast a big shadow on your well-being.

So here are some recommendations for a good night’s sleep – before the cockerel crows.

How sleep affects physical health

Sleep deprivation is also one of the leading causes of weight gain. If noticing you’re getting heavier and plumper, you should check your sleep routine whether you’re getting enough sleep or not. Researchers from Hendrix College studied this phenomenon, showing that sleep plays a role in maintaining a healthy balance of the hormones which determines your hunger (ghrelin) or fullness (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. Thus, normally a lack of sleep will make you feel hungrier than when you are well-rested.

Sleep deficiency can lead to diabetes at an early age. Chronic sleep deprivation severely affects how the body regulates insulin, according to research by National Sleep Foundations which said sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, thus increasing a diabetic risk.

Sleep as one of the best medicines. When getting injured or sick, you know what the doctor’s advice is. Not the best of prescribed tablets but just plain adequate sleep! Sufficient sleep, studied by National Sleep Foundation, will enhance muscle mass, fertility and repair cells in your body.

Sleep for a stronger immune system. One of the reasons sleep links magical healing to your body is that your immune system relies heavily on sleep to stay defensive and strong. The immune system is a defensive organism which protects your body against foreign or harmful substances. A studied by Harvard Women’s Health Watch demonstrated that ongoing sleep insufficiency can influence the way in which your immune function responds. Sleep deficiency means, you may have trouble fighting common infections like cold and flu, and feeling tired mostly.

Sleep improves mental well-being. Sufficient sleep will sharpen your focus and concentration. You might find yourself asking what it takes to be more focused, more creative and achieve a better performance. The answer is a simple and smart one—getting enough sleep. A recent study of 1,000 adults tracked productivity and sleep quantity and quality. The conclusion was clear: “Sleep duration (both short and long), insomnia, sleepiness, and snoring were all associated with decreased work productivity.”

Sleep can improve your learning capacity. Yes, studies show you can achieve a better score and improve your learning capacity through having an adequate sleep. Deep sleep consolidates our recent memories into long term storage and sleep is an intensely active period of restructuring which is crucial for how our memory works, disclosed Dr Shai Marcu, an expert in pediatric Neurology.


LED us sleep

BLUE LIGHT is bad before bedtime. Watch your gadgets.

Why? Because light affects our circadian rhythms since it affects melatonin production.

Here’s what Scientific American says in an investigation on how different wavelengths of light affect the release of melatonin.

What is melatonin? Hear it from Harvard University neuroscientist Anne-Marie Chang: Light is the most powerful cue for shifting or resetting the time of the circadian (body) clock. We also know that melatonin is present at low levels in the daytime, and is released a few hours before bedtime and peaks in middle of the night.

Past studies have shown that light suppresses melatonin, such that light in the early evening causes a circadian delay, or resets the clock to a later schedule; and light in the early morning causes a circadian advancement, or resets the clock faster.

Scientists have been cautioning against using light-emitting devices (LED) before bed, like reading an e-book or watching TV.

Why? The light from our devices is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has more blue light than natural light—and blue light affects the level of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength.

Changes in sleep patterns in turn shifts the body clock, or circadian rhythm, disrupting your sleep cycle.

So take caution with your gadgets before bedtime, people… before the cockerel crows.

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