Personal Wellbeing

Dreamland Duty: Your Blueprint to a Blissful Slumber

September 21, 2022
Dr. Manan Mehta
Dreamland Duty: Your Blueprint to a Blissful Slumber

We recently conducted a survey of the young to middle-aged urban population and found alarming rates of sleep deprivation. Only a quarter of the respondents were getting 8 hours of sleep, and the majority of them indicated waking up tired and needing more rest. 

Besides being essential to life and survival, sleeping affects our mind body soul. Counting sheep is not as simple as closing your eyes and closing your eyes.

Neuroscientists define sleep as a state of active unconsciousness, in which the brain is in a state of relative rest and is reacting primarily to internal stimuli. Simply put, it is a state where the body slows down in almost all departments, none more so than the brain.

Why do we sleep?

It may sound strange, but we still don't know exactly why humans and other animals sleep. A variety of theories are being proposed in current research, including the Inactivity theory, the Restoration theory, the Energy conservation theory, and the Brain plasticity theory. 

It has been found that muscles repair themselves, tissues grow, proteins are synthesised, and growth hormones are released predominantly during sleep. The body has decreased metabolism by up to 10% during sleep. During sleep, the brain's structure and function are reorganised and grown.

Stages of sleep

There are essentially four stages of sleep – 3 stages of Non-Rapid Eye Movement, Sleep, and Rapid Eye Movement. These stages typically occur in 90 to 120-minute cycles. The body ideally needs 3 to 4 such cycles for restful rebuilding.

How much Should we sleep?

How much sleep do you need?
Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Now, this is a tricky question. The importance of sleep in infants' and children's brain development explains why infants need to sleep upwards of 14 hours a day. Geriatric patients can swing from managing with 5 to 6 hours a day or needing nearly 12 hours of sleep as age advances.

A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults in order to maintain excellent emotional wellness. This includes a majority of it as interrupted night sleep with an optional power nap during the day; and no more than 9 to 10 hours of sleep.

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." - Benjamin Franklin

Problems associated with sleep deprivation

What we do know for sure is that chronic sleep deprivation has tremendous effects on mood, productivity, immunity, and metabolism. 

In addition to an increase in the frequency and severity of infections, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of other health problems, including depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as reduced fertility rates and mental disorders.

What is insomnia?

What is insomnia?

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling or staying asleep accompanied by daytime impairments related to those sleep troubles.=

It can be of two types - chronic insomnia disorder and short-term insomnia.

Insomnia, whether short-term or chronic, has certain symptoms in common. There are different types of sleep issues associated with those symptoms, including those related to nighttime sleep when a person experiences at least one of those types of sleep issues:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Not able to lead happy healthy life.
  • Not being able to stay asleep through the night
  • Getting up too early in the morning
  • Teenagers and children who resist sleeping at bedtime
  • Children and teens who have difficulty sleeping on their own (without the assistance of a caregiver)

There are also several daytime symptoms related to sleeping problems that must be present as well:

  • Tiredness
  • Memory or attention problems
  • Working, studying, or socially performing poorly
  • Mood disturbances or irritability
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Hyperactivity or aggression are examples of behavioural issues
  • Motivation has decreased
  • Accidents or mistakes occurring more frequently
  • Sleep concerns or dissatisfaction

For chronic insomnia to occur, symptoms must be present three times per week for a minimum of three months. Short-term insomnia is characterised by less frequent episodes and less than three months of symptoms.

Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is not explicitly defined in the diagnostic criteria for insomnia. Adults may suffer from insomnia if they take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep or are awake during the night for more than 30 minutes (20 minutes for children).

Causes

Recognising why you are not sleeping well is essential to treating the problem.

  • Lack of opportunity to sleep or a disruptive sleep environment. Poor socioeconomic status, cramped living, small children, or dependents needing care.
  • Medical disorders like Prostatomegaly or Diabetes causing frequent urination, OSA or sleep apnea, aches and pains, acid reflux disorder, thyroid disorder, etc
  • Sleep procrastination syndrome - it's the only me time and free time you get. So you keep scrolling mindlessly through social media sites and videos and articles.
  • Screen time: Most of our survey participants were on a screen minutes before sleep. Melatonin, an important sleep hormone, is regulated by the brightness of light falling on your retina. Gadget screens thus keep pushing the brain into an active state.
  • Anxiety - generalised, work-related, social, emotional. We all live in overloaded, busy, and stressful times.
  • Just not enough time due to work and travel.

All of us will be sleepless on some occasions or through certain phases of life. Recognise the issue and embark on a holistic approach toward solving it. Disciplined screen time, a more natural unwinding schedule, fixed waking hours, appropriate meals and meal times, and adequate exercise are some of the first steps we must take. 

Diagnosing and treating underlying medical disorders with a physician's help comes next. Then, if need be, some pharmacological support. Emotional, social, financial, and even generalised anxiety shouldn’t be ignored. 

An overwhelming majority of our respondents (primarily 25-40-year-olds) stated work and work-related anxieties as major obstacles to adequate sleep. Emotional anxieties were a close second. Therefore, workplace wellness programs are more than necessary to help employees. 

If only a fourth of our young, upwardly dynamic population are waking up naturally and feeling fresh, there is definitely something afoot that doesn’t augur well for the future. So pull up your eye masks and switch off the lights! Enough of hand sanitisers. It's time for some sleep hygiene.

Good luck and Good night!

Nutritional Wellness

The Flavor of Health: How Food Impacts the Brain and Body

January 8, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team
The Flavor of Health: How Food Impacts the Brain and Body

The connection between what we eat and our overall health is undeniable, and in this article, we will delve into the specific ways in which food can impact our brains and body. 

From the role of different macronutrients in brain function and mood to the link between certain foods and cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease, we will cover a wide range of topics.

Additionally, we will discuss the impact of food on daily lifestyle and provide some actionable advice for readers on how to optimize their diet for optimal brain and body health.

The Brain and Food: A Delicious Connection

Our brains are the command center of our bodies, controlling everything from our movements to our thoughts and emotions. And, like all other parts of our body, they need the right fuel to function at their best. The food we eat can profoundly impact our cognitive function and mood, and we're here to explore the delicious ways in which it does so.

The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison." - Ann Wigmore

When it comes to macronutrients, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins play a vital role in keeping our brain healthy. Carbohydrates, for instance, can help boost our mood by increasing the production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical. Fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, are crucial for brain development and function, while proteins are essential in the creation of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit signals in the brain.

But it's not just about what we eat; it's also about what we avoid. A diet high in saturated fats and processed foods has been linked to cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids may help to protect against them. So, next time you reach for that bag of chips, remember that your brain will thank you for choosing a handful of nuts instead.

The Body and Food: A Nutritional Symphony

The Body and Food: A Nutritional Symphony
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Food plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases. The right nutrition can help keep our body in tip-top shape, while a poor diet can lead to a host of health issues.

First and foremost, the role of nutrition in maintaining overall health cannot be overstated. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to provide the essential vitamins and minerals our body needs to function properly. This can help to prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Again it's not just about what we eat; it's also about what we avoid. Certain foods have been linked to specific health conditions. For example, a diet high in saturated fats has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Processed foods, on the other hand, have been linked to obesity and diabetes. By choosing whole foods and avoiding processed foods, we can help to keep our bodies in check.

Food and Mental Health: A Delicious Relationship

Food and Mental Health: A Delicious Relationship
Photo by Juan José Valencia Antía on Unsplash 

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and the food we eat plays a crucial role in maintaining both. The relationship between food and mental health is delicate, and understanding it can help us keep our minds in top shape.

When it comes to our mental health, the impact of diet cannot be overstated. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to provide the essential nutrients our brain needs to function properly. This can help to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Conclusion

To sum up, the food we consume is the fuel that keeps our body and mind running smoothly. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
  • Avoid processed foods and saturated fats
  • Include omega-3-rich foods
  • Provides essential nutrients for optimal brain and body function
  • Achieve a balanced diet for optimal wellness.

But, just like a gourmet meal, everyone's nutritional needs are unique and personal. So, before making any drastic changes to your diet, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a dietitian to determine what specific dietary changes would be best for you.

In the end, let's remember that food is not just about sustenance; it's also about pleasure. By making mindful food choices, we can nourish our body and soul. So, let's savor every bite and enjoy the delicious symphony of health food offers.

Occupational Wellbeing

The Great 4-Day Workweek Experiment: 33 Companies Say Yes To Fridays Off

February 12, 2023
Mohit Sahni
The Great 4-Day Workweek Experiment: 33 Companies Say Yes To Fridays Off

Picture this: It's Friday afternoon, and instead of counting down the minutes until the workweek ends, you're actually looking forward to a long, relaxing weekend. No more working on Fridays - that's right, it's time to swap the 9-to-5 grind for a 4-day workweek. And the best part? You'll still get paid the same amount.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, the results of a recent six-month experiment by 33 companies organized by 4 Day Week Global say otherwise. The trial, which took place in six countries, aimed to see if employees could work just as efficiently 80% of the time. And the results showed the resounding success of the 4-day work week: companies reported increased revenue, improved employee well-being, and even a positive impact on the environment. 

So, if you're looking to convince your boss to make the switch, the evidence is here - the 4-day workweek is the real deal.

The Skeptics

The Great 4-Day Workweek Experiment:  33 Companies Say Yes To Fridays Off
Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

At the beginning of the journey, the idea of a condensed work week at Soothing Solutions sparked a barrage of skepticism and uncertainty among the workforce. Employees pondered the practicality and profitability of such a change. 

However, as the trial progressed, the tide of doubt began to shift, and the company's founders found themselves with no worries about the impact on business growth. The benefits of a shorter workweek were palpable, and the skeptics were quickly won over.

The Push for a Four-Day Workweek

The four-day workweek is no longer just a pipe dream; it's a growing movement. With successful trials at companies like Bolt, positive results reported in Iceland, and a 2019 Henley Business School research paper, the push for shorter work weeks is gaining momentum. 

The trend is a response to the "Great Resignation," a shift in how employees view their work-life balance and a desire to reevaluate the traditional work model. Despite some pushback from skeptics, the four-day workweek is quickly proving its worth and paving the way for a new way of thinking about work.

No Downsides

The Great 4-Day Workweek Experiment:  33 Companies Say Yes To Fridays Off
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

For nearly a century, the 40-hour workweek has been the backbone of the American labor force. But like any rigid structure, it's time for a change, and companies like Rent a Recruiter are leading the charge with their participation in the four-day workweek trial. 

This shift towards more flexible work arrangements is not the first time the traditional model of work has been disrupted. In 1926, Henry Ford reduced the workweek to five days; in 1940, the Fair Labor Standards Act set the standard at 40 hours. 

And now, with the Great Resignation and a desire to rethink the traditional 9-to-5 grind, the movement towards a four-day workweek is gaining momentum, with successful trials at companies like Bolt and positive results highlighted in the 2019 Henley Business School research paper. This trend towards a shorter workweek may just be the mold-breaking change the workforce needs to balance work and life.

"The future of work is less about the number of hours worked and more about the impact made." - Sarah Robb O'Hagan 

The Results

The 4 Day Week Global trial results were nothing short of revolutionary. As the dust settled, it was evident that the four-day workweek had not only unlocked the potential for increased revenue but it had also unleashed a wave of benefits for employees and the environment.

Gone were the long, dreary workweeks that sapped the energy and morale of employees. In their place, a renewed sense of purpose and vitality as workers reveled in the newfound freedom of an extra day off. Health and well-being improved as individuals were able to focus on self-care and recharge their batteries.

The four-day workweek is no longer a pipe dream; it's a reality. With 100 more companies already considering or implementing the approach, it's time for your company to break free from the constraints of the traditional workweek and join the ranks of trailblazers like Rent a Recruiter. So, pack up your briefcase and enjoy your weekends because it's time to stop working on Fridays (or Mondays).

Inference

In conclusion, the four-day workweek is not just a whimsical notion; it's a well-tested and proven solution that has brought countless benefits to companies and employees alike. The advantages are clear for all to see, from improved well-being and increased revenue to a more sustainable future. 

So, why not make the leap and join the growing cohort of forward-thinking companies who have said goodbye to their boring, outdated workweeks and hello to a brighter, more productive tomorrow? It's time to experience the magic of a four-day workweek and embrace the gift of three glorious days off. Say yes to Fridays off! Do you have any more ideas to increase productivity while still maintaining a work-life-balance? Get in touch with us and we will help you get the word out.

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