To Sleep Or Not To Sleep Early

Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy

As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!

#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts

The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.

#3: Sleep Improves Immunity

Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.

Conclusion

After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.

Social Media: The Dark Side

There is a good, bad or ugly side to almost anything and everything in the universe. Social media is no exception. However, in this case, social media has the darkest side of them all. There has been numerous cases of men and women alike developing psychological illnesses such as depression and other psychotic disorders due to their obsessive and compulsive usage of social media. But why is this so? Why is it that so many people have fallen to vanity? What does this mean for our mental health? In this article, we shall discuss and explore the dark side of social media, but be warned, it is a place you wouldn’t want to end up in, ever. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

A New Age

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

The invention of the internet has allowed much to be accomplished in the history of mankind. We can now work and share with others in real time. Knowledge can be accessed simply by doing a simple search on Google. And In the midst of all this achievements and breakthroughs, social media was born. In the early stages of the internet, chatrooms and forums were the main platforms for communication for the numerous netizens around the world. As time passed and as the internet became more advanced, social media platforms with higher degrees of complexity and capability were introduced, the notable two being Facebook and Instagram, which has greatly shaped the modern world as we know it today. And in the present world, social media has become a ubiquitous element in most of our lives and it will continue to be so.

The Dark Side Revealed

Source: https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/blog/social-media-and-depression/

As usage of social media increased over the years, we have become increasingly reliant on social media for communication. We no longer send letters to our relatives and friends. Instead, all one has to do is click on WhatsApp, type out his/her message and click “send”. It’s that simple. Meanwhile, on public sharing platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it is equally easy to post a photo of yourself and comment on the posts of others. Here’s where chaos begins. Many men and women become obsessed with putting their pictures up online for others to admire, while others do so out of vanity. At the same time, users of such platforms begin to judge a person’s worth through appearances alone. In the minds of such users, thoughts like these start to pop up. “She looks pretty, so I’m going to give her a like.” “This one doesn’t look as good, I’ll pass.” These thoughts gradually alter the ways in which these users think. In other words, these unhealthy habit has rewired their minds to calculate the respect they should give another person based on appearances and looks alone. Meanwhile, cyberbullying has taken a new turn. All it takes is a single comment to begin the onslaught. Many begin to target the appearances of others and in turn comment nasty remarks to taunt them. Furthermore, it is now extremely easy to pass on rumours of another person, often with the intent of slandering or demeaning the target in question. As these comments and nasty remarks begin to snowball and accumulate, the person at the receiving end often faces feelings of distress and helplessness. The victim is unable to understand why he/she deserves such treatment and plunges close to the threshold of depression. And eventually, without timely assistance, such scenarios can end with an unfortunate suicide. This problem is especially prevalent among the youth today. It is because of these above reasons that social media has a bad reputation for bringing out the worst in humans, who may seem friendly upfront but are deadly when given a keyboard.

The Takeaway

The world is a chaotic place. Be wary not to blindly follow the crowds. At the same time, learn to keep your emotions on a leash. Do not fall prey to your emotions and subconscious desires. Rather, use the gift that you have been granted at the moment of your birth: Rational thinking. Without it, we are nothing but animals, living in the present, slaves to emotions and carnal desires. This applies to social media as well. Do not fall into the trap of judging the self-worth of yourself and others based on appearances, as they are often deceiving. At the same time, learn not to crave it, as the desire for the flesh often leads to the destructive path to lust. Not only will you lose your mind in the process, but you may very well lose your life and your loved ones as well.

Should You Use Earphones?

Yes, you might think that this article is totally no-brainer. I can imagine many of you cringing at this title. But you’ll be surprised. If misused, these simple contraptions you chuck in your ear every single day can pose a threat to your health! Yes, I’m not kidding at all. As the use of headphones and earphones continue to rise and become more popular, especially among the teens, hearing loss and other ear-related health problems have become more prevalent. Furthermore, I feel that not much has been done by health authorities to educate the public. Thus, this article will show you exactly why and how improper usage of earphones or headphones can damage your health. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: It Can Cause Deafness

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

This sounds obvious. However, this problem has become more common among teenagers and adults alike. Listening to music at unsafe volume levels can cause permanent hearing loss. “But how? Earphones are so small!” Despite their small size, these little, innocuous-looking objects can generate high volumes of sounds. To put things in perspective, motorcycles generate about 100 decibels of sound. On the other hand, an MP3 player at 70% of its top volume can give out 85 decibels of sound. “But what does this mean for my ear?” Let’s see this from a scientific perspective. The cochlea, which is a part of the ear, contain tiny, minute hair cells, which function to relay acoustic information to the brain. These hair cells can be damaged by loud noise and once they are so, they can never regenerate. This leads to gradual hearing loss and many people don’t notice it until it’s simply too late.

#2: It Is Linked With A Growing Number Of Road Accidents

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Earphones can pose as a form of distraction, especially while driving or simply crossing the street. The use of earphones removes our auditory awareness of our surroundings and we will be unable to sense danger around us. For instance, you might not be able to hear a car honking at you, or a truck skidding towards you. Furthermore, many become engrossed with the music they are listening with, thereby causing them to lose focus of their surroundings and worsening reaction time in critical situations. Our mind simply does not have the ability to multitask. What’s even more shocking is that 1 in 4 of Americans aged between 18 to 34 admitted to finding themselves in at least one hazardous situation while wearing headphones in the year 2018.

#3: Increased Risks Of Infection

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When used for prolonged periods of time, both sweat and moisture accumulate around the headphones. This provides a suitable environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi alike. On a similar note, people living in coastal cities where humidity is high, have a higher risk of suffering from ear infections. When earphones are used, air flow into the ears are blocked, thereby also facilitating the multiplication of microbes. Furthermore, sharing your earphones with your loved ones and friends may increase the chances of them getting infected too.

Conclusion

This article is a short one. Nonetheless, I hope that it did help you to understand the potential side effects of headphone misuse and overuse. If you did find this post helpful to you in any way, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so already. Thanks for reading!

Thinking Of Buying Fast Food? Think Again

Fast food has become a highly convenient dining option for many of us. Now, almost every shopping mall has at least one fast food restaurant, be it McDonalds, KFC, or Jollibee. As most working adults are hard-pressed for time, eating at home has become a rare occurrence and it is a common sight to see parents eating out at fast food outlets with their children. On the other hand, many people love eating fast food simply because of its taste. Yes, even I admit that KFC’s crispy chicken is indeed delicious and mouth-watering. But have you ever considered how fast food affects your health? If you have never done so, I strongly advice you to read this article. For those who have, this article seeks to reiterate the effects fast food has on your health, especially in the long run. The Angry Birds 100% approve of this article, probably because they don’t want to end up becoming your next KFC meal…


Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s begin. Do also check out my new website logo! Curious to know what it means? Visit https://bestofwrite.com/2021/01/17/the-meaning-behind-my-new-website-logo/ to learn more!

#1: Fast Food Is A Major Cause Of Heart-Disease

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Heart attacks happen when your heart tissues have their supply of oxygen and glucose cut off. This happens when coronary arteries in your heart become blocked as fatty deposits become stuck on its inner walls. For those interested to learn more, this process is called atherosclerosis, which is responsible for heart attacks. Major causes of atherosclerosis include high cholesterol and sodium intake, lack of exercise, smoking and high blood pressure. So what is the link between heart diseases and fast food then? The answer lies in the fact that fast food products contain high amounts of harmful cholesterol and fat. The risk of heart attack is higher for those who lack exercise and consume fast-food at the same time. In fact, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health showed that consuming fast-food once a week increases the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 20%.

#2: Fast Food Is One Of The Leading Causes Of Type-2 Diabetes

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

As mentioned before, fast food often contains high amounts of unhealthy cholesterol and fats, and is low in nutrition. In fact, fast food products contain high amounts of calories, low amounts of fibre and the infamous MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate. It is because of these reasons that fast food and obesity are very closely linked. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that most fast food products are addictive in nature, which is mostly because they are incredibly convenient and affordable for what they offer. Right, so how does this cause Type-2 Diabetes then? To begin, we must understand that Type-2 Diabetes is caused by decreased sensitivity to insulin, which is an essential hormone responsible for the regulation of blood glucose concentration. Since fast food products are high in calories, consumption of it will result in high blood glucose levels, which in turn results in a sudden spike of insulin to keep it under control. Those who are overweight tend to have a higher resistance to insulin, thus increasing their vulnerability to Type-2 Diabetes.

#3: Fast Food Affects Cognitive Function And Memory

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Fast food products contain a high amount of saturated fats, which is already a cause of heart failure. Firstly, the consumption of saturated fats decreases neurogenesis, which refers to the production of neurones. In fact, the impairment of neurone production might be a cause of dementia and depression. Additionally, increased consumption of saturated fats decreases memory and cognitive function.

Conclusion

It’s fine to consume fast food once in a while, but as with all things in life, it must be done in moderation. Overconsumption of fast food products can have detrimental effects for your health and even lead to death. As they say, without health, there can be no wealth. So, let us learn to pay more attention to our diets and care for our bodies, which are extremely fragile despite of their complexity.

If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for my next article! Thanks for reading!

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Classical Music

So, many of you might have noticed that is the 3rd post for this week. You might ask, “What? I thought you said that you would be only blogging once every two weeks or sometimes maybe once a week?” (check out my blogging plans for 2021 at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/28/my-blogging-plan-for-2021/) Well, I figured that since I have some free time, why not blog? After all, it’s my passion!


Right, so let’s focus on the subject matter at hand. For this post, let us discuss the reasons as to why you should try listening to classical music. For instance, classical music has been shown to stimulate the mind and improve sleep quality. I personally listen to classical and orchestral music whenever I read or complete a task. You might say, “Hey! Classical music is boring and old! How could I possibly enjoy it?” While it is true that classical music might be considered old, they are gems of the past and are worth listening to. This article will show you why. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. (Do fill in your email in the newsletter registration section of the website) Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: It Improves Sleep

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Studies have shown that listening to classical music helps to improve sleep. It helps to relax the mind and remove anxiety, thereby making sleeping easier. Research has shown that listening to classical music reduces nervous system activity, decreases anxiety and blood pressure. It helps to distract you from your thoughts and relaxes your muscles, getting you in the mood to sleep. This effect is corroborated and confirmed by the fact that children of all ages, including infants and school-going children, sleep better after listening to relaxing, classical music. Below is a list containing some of the best pieces of relaxing classical music to help you sleep.

  • Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
  • Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
  • Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
  • Nocturne No.2, Op.9 by Chopin
  • Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement by Beethoven

#2: It Improves Memory

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As mentioned above, the relaxing effect of classical music not only helps to improve sleep, but also improves memory. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to memorise or learn something when you feel stressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety makes memory formation and retrieval more difficult, and stress has been shown to be one of the prominent causes of neurone death. Yes, you saw it correctly. Stress has been shown to kill brain cells and reduce their ability to function properly. On the other hand, listening to classical music has been shown to enhance memory retrieval and helps to trigger and strengthen neural pathways, thereby strengthening synapses between the respective neurones.

“Neurones that fire together, wire together.”

Donald Hebb

#3: They Are Precious Relics Of History

Photo by Fillipe Gomes on Pexels.com

There is a reason to why classical music was able to stand the test of time. Some of the greatest classics still continue to be played and enjoyed by many. The classical period has produced some of the most legendary pieces of all time, which never fail to captivate audiences and listeners of every age. In fact, many of these pieces are used as background music in movies and musicians of all kinds are required to study them, with good reason.

Conclusion

Classical music still plays an important role in the evolution of culture and heritage. For many, it has become an integral part of their lives, something they can’t live without. For musicians, the classical period is an essential part of musical history that has helped to shape our overall understanding of music and its associated cultures. This is exactly why classical music is something you and I should listen to. If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!

The Horrible Consequences of War

Nations are brought to war by their leaders for numerous reasons. These include social and economic inequalities, politics or just sheer greed. But is it all worth it? As humans on this Earth, we have seen our fair share of tragedies and disasters, but nothing compares to the tragedy of war. The sad reality is that wars are constantly fought. After every war, many nations only seek to prepare for the next. Peace is just reduced to the mere interlude between one war and the next. You would think that, being the most intelligent animal species on Earth, human beings would be able to cooperate in peace, but that is almost never the case. This article will show you exactly why wars should never be fought and why peace is so important. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Innocent People Are Made to Suffer

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

Many men and women, many of which unwilling participants, risk and lose their lives on the battlefield. On the other hand, many civilians are sent to concentration camps to be brutally tortured and executed, sometimes just for the fun of it. In fact, war crimes come naturally with any war, as parties on both sides hate each other. The image above shows the infamous Auschwitz death camp which was a place of suffering for many captured Jews during World War 2. On last estimate, more than 1.1 million people were killed there.

#2: Property is Destroyed

Photo by Caio on Pexels.com

In the process of any war, property is destroyed. Towns and houses are obliterated by artillery fire, and in more ancient times, the projectiles fired by trebuchets. Civilians may lose many if not all of their possessions during a war and are forced to evict their former hometowns. Livelihoods are destroyed and many lose their wealth, as many civilians search frantically for a new dwelling place, sometimes to no avail.

#3: Public Panic and Fear

Source: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-in-canada

Death comes with any war. And with death, comes public fear and panic. During a war, civilians may lose their possessions and loved ones. Furthermore, they live in fear that they might be attacked anytime at an unknown time and location. As a result, many people develop eating and stress disorders, as they struggle with trauma. In fact, many World War 2 survivors still carry them to this day.

Conclusion

Human lives are too precious to be lost to petty feuds and arguments. If only nations will learn to bury the hatchet and work together, the world would be a much better place. Let us remember that wars harm the parties on both sides and that innocent people are the ones who bear the brunt of the war. If you this article was helpful to you in any way, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

Here’s Why Instant Noodles Are Bad For You

The invention of the instant noodle is one that has changed the world. Since its inception, it has been hailed by many for its convenience and simplicity of use. In fact, many of us consume them regularly whenever we feel lazy to order a take out or cook. But is it healthy? Is it something you should eat regularly? Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Let’s jump right in!

#1: MSG

Source: https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2017/07/12/EFSA-sets-safe-intake-level-for-MSG-and-glutamate-additives-urging-new-maximum-levels

MSG, also known as Monosodium Glutamate, is a common food additive in processed foods such as instant noodles. In fact, it has become so ubiquitous that it is used almost everywhere, from food seasoning to your miso soup. Studies regarding MSG have been controversial at best. However, a number of reports suggest that this infamous additive is able to trigger headaches, high blood pressure and other symptoms, while also promoting obesity.

#2: It’s Low In Calories, Fibres and Proteins

https://www.news-medical.net/health/How-Many-Calories-Should-You-Eat-Per-Day.aspx

You might notice that you wouldn’t feel full after a meal of instant noodles. This is mostly because of the fact that it is low in calories, fibres and proteins. Being low in calories, a meal of instant noodles would not be able to sustain you for as long as a normal meal would, while a lack in fibre content might increase the risk of digestive problems such as constipation.

#3: It Has High Sodium Content

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Instant noodles have high sodium content. In fact, a single serving of instant noodles contains almost 900 mg of sodium! Sodium has been linked to numerous health problems. In fact, it increases the risk of atherosclerosis, heart failure and kidney disease.

Conclusion

I hope that you have found this article helpful, albeit it being short in length. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!