×

Indian women are highly ignorant of their sleep disorders, and the remedy starts at home

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Have there been times when you’ve gone to bed early only to toss and turn without falling asleep? Do you find yourself often staying up late past your planned bedtime and waking up groggy and tired the next morning?

Skin Care

Women are more prone to insomnia than men, studies have found. One reason for this is that women undergo more shifts in hormonal balances, which can then disrupt sleep regulation. For many women sleep disruption can also be linked to mood disorders such as depression. Stress, too, plays a role in diminishing quality of sleep. Barring these, however, for many women it is the result of poor sleep hygiene. What may start off as a new interest in a hobby or form of entertainment may soon become a habit and a rhythm that we find very hard to change.

Poor sleep hygiene

Particularly with young adults, when long hours at the job get coupled with an interest in social activities, it is sleep that often gets sacrificed. In the course of my practice I so often see patients who tell me that they can’t fall asleep before 3 or 4 am. For many of them, it becomes a matter of pride or an unchangeable fact that they are awake so late into the night.

Often this lack of sleep hygiene begins at an early age, when parents struggle to teach their children to adhere to early bedtimes. If the habit of getting seven to eight hours of sleep, preferably beginning sometime before 11 pm, is not properly developed in childhood and adolescence, it can become an unhealthy pattern in adulthood.

The effects of unhealthy eating

One of the chief causes of poor sleep hygiene is unhealthy dietary habits. Eating heavy foods late in the night, in particular, can cause disturbed sleep, as such foods can leave one feeling gaseous and uncomfortable, sometimes even disturbing breathing patterns.

Another important cause of sleeplessness is consuming spicy or acidic foods at night, especially for those affected by acidity or acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the valve between the stomach and the food pipe functions improperly, and stomach acid flows back into the food pipe, causing a burning sensation referred to as heartburn.

Alcohol is another culprit for disturbed sleep, though it may seem to put us to sleep at first glance. However, the quality of sleep obtained under the influence of alcohol is always poorer.

Traditional diets and remedies can help

Skin Care

Traditional diets that incorporate light meals such as khichdi or Pongal as well as higher quantities of fruit and vegetables can significantly benefit sleep patterns. It’s also important that such evening meals are consumed earlier, at least two to three hours before the planned bedtime. Finally, Ayurvedic wisdom suggests that turmeric mixed with milk is a useful sleep aid. Turmeric is known to aid in preventing oxidative damage and sleep deprivation, curbing inflammation and potentially even reducing anxiety levels.

If applying the above health tips doesn’t yield in a positive, do remember to consult a medical professional to understand the root cause of your sleep disorders. It’s always safe to take such steps before the problem becomes chronic.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Related Products

selling
Tata Tea

Gold

View details
selling
Tata Tea

Premium

View details
selling
Tata Tea

Elaichi Chai

View details
selling
Tata Tea

Agni

View details

Diet, exercise and sunlight: Three factors women shouldn’t ignore for good bone health

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
11 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Barring a significant injury or fracture, we rarely tend to think about bone health. Yet, for women, particularly those who are middle-aged or older, this is a vital concern because of the risk of osteoporosis.

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 50 million Indians who were osteoporotic or having low bone mass. Some studies have found that the prevalence of osteoporosis could be as high as 42.5% in women over the age of 50.

Osteoporosis and health complications

Eat Breakfast

Osteoporosis comes from the Latin for “porous bone”, and is a condition where bone tissue loses its density, and becomes weaker and more fragile. Such bones are easily susceptible to breaks, resulting in pain, disability and loss of functionality in everyday life.

Bones, which form the primary supporting framework of the body, grow from birth till our early twenties, which is the period of peak bone mass. Bone is an active tissue that undergoes regular replacement in conditions of health.

In osteoporosis, however, bone formation is outpaced by bone loss, leading to porosity or thinness of bone tissue and brittle bones. Such bones could easily be fractured even in the absence of significant trauma. Such fractures tend to reduce mobility and lead to increased hospitalization and dependence on others.

Why osteoporosis affects women more

Women are particular at risk for osteoporosis because they have lesser bone mass to start with. The geometry and structure of bone have also been increasingly recognized as important risk factors for fracture.

The risk of osteoporosis significantly rises during menopause because of the hormonal changes women undergo at the time. This is because estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health, and the secretion of this hormone falls drastically during menopause.

The importance of protein and calcium in the diet

Skin Care

For some time now, awareness of the importance of calcium for bone health has been growing. Hence, women are advised to consume sufficient amounts of dairy, green leafy vegetables, soya products and nuts.

What many don’t realise is that sufficient levels of protein are just as important for strong bones. After all, protein makes up roughly 50% of bone volume and about one-third of its mass. Daily intake of protein is also necessary to provide the raw materials for bone formation. Unfortunately, research shows that the levels of dietary protein consumed by Indians are actually reducing.

For non-vegetarians chicken, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, pulses are one of the primary sources of protein, along with dairy products. Daily intake of protein in at least two major meals of the day, particularly in healthy forms such as sambhar or dal is, therefore, vital.

The role of exercise and sunlight

Eat Breakfast

Bone health also requires good muscle health. This makes it necessary to undertake moderate exercise as often as possible. A 45-minute walk six days a week as well as resistance training using the body weight, such as surya namaskaras, can go a long way to building muscles. Importantly, the body also requires Vitamin D to mobilize calcium for bone health. Hence, exposure to peak sunlight between 11am and 3 pm at least twice a week is also vital for bone health.

Osteoporosis can be a serious health problem that disrupts life and limits mobility, particularly for women. However, a healthy diet, rich in calcium and protein, together with exercise, can go a long way in maintaining bone health.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

Related Products

selling
Tata Sampann

Chana Dal

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Green Moong

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Kabuli Chana

View details
selling
Tata Sampann

Kala Chana

View details

loading