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.

What Is An Energy Crisis?

Wikipedia defines an energy crisis to be “any significant bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy.” There are many causes for energy crises, such as overconsumption, aging infrastructure and the lack of energy sources. Energy crises threaten to overturn economies and disrupt livelihoods, and it is exactly because of this that scientists are frantically searching for sustainable energy sources, before it’s too late. Today, I will discuss what an energy crisis entails and how it can be avoided. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

Fossil Fuels

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Fossil fuels have become a staple in our daily lives. It is used to power airplanes, cars, trucks and manufacture plastic bags. You could say that the world hasn’t been the same since we discovered the use of fossil fuels. We have become so dependent on it, that if we ran out of fossil fuels, we would be sent right back into the Stone Age. Now as our energy consumption increases due to increasing population and advancing technology, we may soon overtake the rate of energy production and use up our precious fossil fuels. We can see this in the constant rise of oil prices over the years. Thus, the search is on for sources of sustainable energy which can help to supplement, if not replace fossil fuels.

The Effects of Energy Crisis

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Imagine your life without electricity, living in a city without lights. There would be no electricity to charge your phones, power your television and elevators. You would be forced to take the stairs up and down everyday in your office. Crime rate would increase as police forces lose access to many of their capabilities. Lives cannot be saved in time as paramedics are no longer able to drive ambulances. You get the idea. Life would stop to a standstill and electricity would be more precious than even gold. However horrifying this might seem, this is what energy crises can do.

Why We Need Sustainable Energy

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Unlike fossil fuels, sustainable energy sources can last for an extremely long time, if not forever, in some cases. Fossil fuels, being unsustainable, are expected to last up till another 115 years (Coal is expected to last 115 years, while natural gas and oil are expected to run out in 50 years). After that, it would be millions of years before fossil fuels are naturally regenerated. As you can see, we will run out of fossil fuels very soon. We cannot overly rely on it. That’s when sustainable energy comes in. Sustainable energy can come in many forms, like solar energy, geothermal energy and hydropower. However, work is still underway to implement them and sustainable energy sources still do not produce as much energy as that of fossil fuels.

Here’s How You Can Play A Part

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This first thing you can do is to reduce your electric consumption. This can be done simply by turning off the lights when you don’t need them, or turning off the power switch when your phone is fully charged. You could also start to take public transport, which leaves you a lower carbon footprint. More details can be found here: https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/15/heres-how-you-can-reduce-your-carbon-footprint/

Conclusion

This wraps up my first post for 2021! I hope that this article has given you a greater understanding of the effects and causes of energy crises, and that you have learned something from it. If you did enjoy this article, go consider giving it a like! Remember to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for my next post!

Here’s How You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

As we become more reliant on technology, our carbon footprint increases as well. Owing to our busy lifestyles, we may be required to travel frequently on planes or cars. Our mobile phones and laptops require more frequent charges. Our homes have also become “smart”, with gadgets like the Google Home Mini consuming huge amounts of electricity. However, do you know that this enhances global warming? More carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are released into the air as our power consumption increases. Nonetheless, you can help to save the environment by lowering your carbon footprint, which is in other words the total greenhouse gas emmisions caused by a single person. In this article, I will show you a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Let’s begin!

#1: Take Public Transport

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Instead of driving your own car, you could consider taking public transport. A single bus may be able to transport 50 or more people at one time, while a train may be able to transport hundreds at once. A single bus emits less greenhouse gases than 50 cars at one time.

#2: Conserve Electricity

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Decreasing your electric consumption not only saves you money but also helps to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emitted. For a start, you could turn off your fan or your air-conditioner when you don’t need it, while you can also avoid overcharging your gadgets. While it doesn’t seem like much, this helps to save our environment and reduce the usage of fossil fuels, which are unsustainable and will run out in the near future.

#3: Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need

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Some of us get lost in a shopping spree and end up purchasing numerous items, such as that latest Gucci handbag or the latest iPhone. However, this only serves to increase your carbon footprint as much energy is used in the production of goods and items. Furthermore, buying things you clearly don’t need wastes your hard-earned cash.

#4: Buy Recycled Products

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Whenever you go shopping, look out for products manufactured from recycled materials. This is because less energy is used to produce items made up of recylced products and this in turn reduces the volume of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. This also reduces the energy used in extracting new resources as recycling utilises used materials.

#5: Conserve Water

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This is something I believe everyone must do. It’s as simple as closing the tap when you are brushing your teeth. Energy is used in filtering, pumping and heating water. Wasting water not only increases your electric bills but also causes water shortage around the world. Many people in the Less Developed Countries are experiencing water shortage due to contamination or worsening climates. It’s important to cherish water and not just treat it as a luxury.

Conclusion

All of us can play a part in reducing our carbon footprints so as to reduce the effects of global warming. We have harmed Mother Earth and it’s time to give back. Let’s not become the architects of our own destruction. If this article was a good read or helpful to you in any way, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!

The Consequences of Deforestation

As technology advances, our need for resources increases as well. Likewise, as the population on Earth increases, our energy and material needs increases as well. This is seen in the rise in urbanisation and agriculture which has resulted in increased forest clearing. One example of this is the increase in widespread deforestation. Our need for paper and furniture has led to the destruction of many acres of forests, causing enhanced global warming. This article will show you how deforestation harms our environment and our planet. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter!

#1: Enhanced Global Warming

Source: https://www.whoi.edu/know-your-ocean/ocean-topics/climate-ocean/global-warming/

Forests are famously known as the lungs of the Earth. As many of you have learnt in school, trees give out oxygen when they photosynthesise during the day while taking in carbon dioxide. This helps to regulate the concentration of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. Forests are therefore also known as carbon sinks. However, rampant deforestation has resulted in an increase in concentration greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The result is enhanced global warming, whereby global temperatures are predicted to rise as a result of infrared radiation being trapped in the atmosphere. Consequently, an increase in global temperatures will cause a rapid increase in the rate of ice melting in both poles of the Earth.

#2: Many Animal Species Will Be Endangered

Source: https://ebird.org/species/pumtan2

The image above shows a picture of the endangered Purplish-mantled Tanager. Its species are endangered as a result of widespread deforestation and habitat loss. As can be seen, deforestation might result in the extinction of numerous species which rely on forests for food and shelter. The extinction of such species will disrupt the ecosystem and destroy numerous food chains. Let’s imagine that the Purplish-mantled Tanager went extinct. The animals that used to feed on the Purplish-mantled Tanager might go extinct due to the loss of a food source. Likewise, the insects that the Purplish-mantled Tanager fed on during its existence would suddenly thrive and increase in population. The result is imbalance in our ecosystem.

#3: Soil Erosion and Flooding

Source: https://concordia.ab.ca/tuesday-oct-22nd-research-talk-with-dr-christine-martineau/

Trees help to hold the soil together by anchoring the soil with their roots. Without these trees, soil erosion can occur easily. Rains and floods are now able to wash away the top layer of soil with little or no resistance, thereby also washing away the nutrients needed to regenerate plant life in the future.

#4: Desertification

Source: https://youmatter.world/en/droughts-desertification-increases-global-warming-climate/

Trees play an important role in the water cycle. Tree roots take in water from the ground and return water vapour into the air through transpiration. In the absence of trees, the previously forested area becomes much drier. As a result, levels of precipitation in the area will decrease due to a decrease in water vapour in the atmosphere and reduced cloud formation. As the area becomes warmer and drier, the previously forested area can become a desert, as the occurrence of drought increases.