We all need 7-8 hours of proper sleep. But, what about the security guard who patrol our office space at night? Or what do you think about an emergency nurse or a doctor serving at night? What should do other night shift worker like police or other emergency maintenance workers to fulfill their sleep quota?

It’s always a puzzle to all of us. But the truth is human brain has excellent capability to cope up with almost every situation.

https://bit.ly/2uyScig

We will try to find out the appropriate ways to get some sleep and maintain a normal body function. Because at morning hours, it is difficult to sleep and a sleepless night may develop anxiety even psychic attack.

 

There are mainly 2 types of night shift worker.

  1. Having a regular continuous night shift work at least for 10 days-15 days in a month and remaining are evening or morning shift duties.
  2. Having 1-2 days of every week night duty with a roster. It is a little difficult situation to get a regular habit.

 

Here are some tips to get proper sleep for a night shift worker:

 

  1. Accept the situation:

At first you have to accept your situation. If you are anxious and feel irritated about your night shift work or about your job, it will make you worse and you can’t get a sleep after a hard try. Your brain is a magic box. Try to believe it and absorb it. You can control your habit and can get rid of this situation. It is the flow of time which gives you this position and this job, you have to accept it and try to do it properly.

 

  1. Get inspired and be motivated to accept this situation:

What do you think about night shift worker? Most of them are doing emergency jobs, like saving lives and properties. Their sleepless nights bring a calm and fearless nigh to all of us. They are guarding and managing gas, water and electricity supplies, selling emergency medications, helping people by providing oil or gas for their long drives, nurses and doctors are counting every pulse with a hope of a new life... Don’t think these are just businesses they do for their livings. It is the service what makes our life smooth. If you are a night shift worker don’t think you do your job only for your living. It is for maintaining proper order of other lives. So, be inspired by your job. Don’t think it is making you psychic. Don’t feel irritated. Try to accept it and be motivated to do it properly.

 

  1. Find a sleep hour:

If you are working in an office where you have to do night sift everyday or more than 10 days in a month you can have a permanent sleep routine. During the night shift block of a month, try to have regular 6-8 hour session with a continuous sleep at your daytime. It can be morning or evening. Try to have a 5-6 hour session of continuous sleep and you may take a 1-2 hour nap after a few hours of regular work.

During the other days of a month you should sleep at night for 7-8 hours. Don’t be afraid if you are taking on an average 6 hours of sleep daily. It doesn’t have so many health hazards. In fact, most of the Japanese don’t sleep more than 6 hours in a day.

 

If you are irregular weekly night shift worker then it is difficult to establish a biological sleep cycle in your brain. If you do night shift every alternative day then it is more difficult to sleep for you.

Try to convince your boss and colleagues to make a good roster where you all have a 2-3 consecutive nights for duty.

Make specific sleep roster for another 4-5 days. For example if you have to do 2 nights (Friday and Saturday), 2 evenings(Monday and Tuesday) and 2 mornings (Wednesday and Thursday) shift duties with a holiday(Sunday), then you have to do 2 nights consecutively (Friday and Saturday) and make a specific time for sleeping for other 5 days. If morning hours are suitable for you to sleep, you will get 5 subsequent mornings (Friday to Tuesday) in a week to sleep. If you think evening hours are more comforting for you to sleep you will get Wednesday to Sunday to sleep at evening.

In other 2 days you have to sleep at night. Though it is difficult to establish a regular sleep rhythm in your brain but if you accept your current situation and try to overcome it by your soul you can control your sleep habit.

 

  1. Sleep naps:

You can take 20-30 minutes 2-3 naps in your office, if there are no emergency situations, on your desk. It will help you to calm your brain and improve your confidence. If not possible forget about it. Try to think that you will have a 5-6 hours continuous sleep in the next morning. Don’t be paranoid.

 

  1. Creating a proper sleep environment:
  • Family support is essential to establish a sleeping hours in an unusual time like morning or evening. Because at that time other members of your family will do different things. So, it will be difficult to accept your situation and establish an appropriate sleep routine by yourself without your family support.
  • Use a dark and quiet room for sleep.
  • It’s better to switch off your mobile or other electronic toys which can disrupt your sleep.
  • After going to bed, don’t look at the clock and don’t calculate your sleep hours.
  • Try to feel relaxed as much as possible.
  • Use comfortable a mattress and pillow.

 

  1. Diet and drink habits:

Diet and drink habit should be accordingly adjusted.

  • You should follow a proper diet plan containing all types of nutritious substances that are required for our body. You should take vegetables and fruit rich diet and carbohydrates, protein and fat should be added to your diet appropriately. You also can take quality multivitamins and micronutrients as a supplement to meet your daily requirements.
  • Don’t eat too much before sleep. It is better to avoid food intake and drinking at least for 2 hours before your bed time.
  • Don’t eat spicy and too much oily foods that can disturb your abdomen and can cause heartburn.
  • Avoid tea or coffee for at least 8 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol. Both are brain stimulant and impair greatly of your sleep pattern.

 

  1. Exercise and stress relieving techniques:

Daily 20-30 minutes of cardio exercises are very much helpful to increase oxygenated blood circulation to your brain and help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Fast brisk walking and jogging are very good exercises to maintain a proper health. But you can do other heavy exercises too.

You can try doing some yoga or meditation practices for relieving your stresses and anxiety. Daily 15-20 minutes of mediation session is enough to calm your mind and help your mind to accept any negative situations like night shift jobs.

 

There are many tips you can follow. But these are the main theme to establish your sleep pattern. If you are a night shift worker you have to accept your condition and try to cope with this situation.

--------------------------------------------

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

 

 

‘Meditation’

a well heard word and practiced in different areas around the world. But now a day, it has become a very helpful mind exercise technique for many people. It has a rich history of hundreds of years. Many organizations are now arranging meditation classes to clarify its concept and to teach its techniques. But in practice of meditation there is some obstructions created by mind of participants termed as “Hindrances.”

 

Five hindrances (Sanskrit: pañca nivāraṇa; Pali: pañca nīvaraṇāni)

are identified as mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives.  These are the forces in the mind that impair our ability to see clearly or become concentrated. They are universal, we all experience them.

The five hindrances are:

  1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda) or greed: The particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
  2. Ill-will (vyāpāda) or aversion: All kinds of thought related to wanting to reject, feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
  3. Sloth-torpor (thīna-middha): Heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
  4. Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): The inability to calm the mind.
  5. Doubt (vicikicchā): Lack of conviction or trust.

 

How to overcome hindrances?

Hindrances are created by our mind. When we practice meditation we may have to fight with our insight. These are hindrances. But this fight doesn’t give an ultimate result. We can overcome hindrances by investigating and understanding them. 

 

Investigating the Hindrances:

We use The RAIN Formula to investigate a hindrance. It is-

R: Recognize it.

A: Accept it.

I: Investigate it, be curious. What is it like?

      -Physically- (How does it feel? Is it pleasant or Unpleasant? Does it changes with time?)

      -Emotionally

      -Energetically- (such as feelings of sinking or lifting or rushing)

      -Cognitively- (What beliefs or thinking we should tell ourselves?)

      -Motivationally- (is there an urge to act or cling?)

N: Non-identification. This is just a passing process that comes and goes, not who we are.

When Hindrances arise, you must stop for them. You should investigate and identify them. Often just recognizing a hindrance is enough for it to fall away. You don’t indulge them; you should become interested and study them.

 

Now we will discuss individual hindrances with how to overcome them.

 Sensory desire (kāmacchanda) or greed

 

Sensory desire means that seeking for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling. In its extreme form, sensory desire becomes an obsession to find pleasure in such things as good food, fine music, even sexual desire. But it also replaces unwanted or painful five-sense experiences with pleasant or suitable ones, i.e. the desire for comfort or feelings of comfort.

Remedies:

No matter what is the desire is, complete attention is always required. You can work with it using the RAIN formula above (Recognize, Accept, Investigate, Non-identification).

 

  • If you are feeling excessive concentration about the good thing or pleasant desires, you can focus on the body’s non-attractive parts, such as- sweat, body hair, urine, saliva, phlegm, teeth, or internal organs such as- bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, spleen, intestines, undigested food, blood etc.

 

  • If you desire something harmful, you should focus on the consequences of getting what you want. Like, if you desire about Diabetes, then you can concentrate on consequences and effects of it.

 

  • If you desire something that might be appropriate, but you are clinging to that desire and if you feel you must need to have it; you can focus on the persistence of what you want. How long will the satisfaction last if the desire is fulfilled? This desire will fade. It is not permanent.

 

 Ill-will (vyāpāda) or aversion

 

Aversion is all kinds of thoughts related to wanting to reject, feelings of hostility, resentment and bitterness. It means wanting a thing in an inappropriate way or pushing it away. Ill will is rise of thought getting a desired thing in a harmful way.

 

It does not matter how weak or strong an aversion or ill will is. Complete and strong mindful attention is necessary. You can work again with RAIN formula.

 

Remedies:

 

Counterbalancing aversion may be useful to overcome Ill will or aversion:-

 

  • At first, you have to increase your concentration, Narrow your focus (such as count your breaths)
  • Then, broaden your focus, experience the body with surroundings, listen to all sounds.
  • Then Change your focus. Aversion is often due to one specific attention. If you feel irritated about anything you should think about positive things of it.
  • If you face any difficulty you should ask yourself how to overcome it.
  • If you feel angry on you or any other people, try to love and try to think kindly.
  • It’s helpful to identify the difference between pain and our aversion and notice emotional reaction to it.
  • Reflect on things you have done that have helped yourself or other people.
  • If your aversion is fear and if it is not manageable, sometimes it’s appropriate to counterbalance with changes in focus. etc.

 

 Sloth-torpor (thīna-middha)

Sloth-torpor means heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling and depression.

Ajahn Brahmavamso said “Sloth and torpor is overcome by rousing energy. Energy is always available but few know how to turn on the switch, as it were. Setting a goal, a reasonable goal, is a wise and effective way to generate energy, as is deliberately developing interest in the task at hand. A young child has a natural interest, and consequent energy, because its world is so new.” ( ref- http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebmed051.htm )

 

We want to develop a mind which is both restful and active. Excessive restfulness, without any activity, like we are in a dream. On other hand, with too much alertness or activeness and no restfulness or peacefulness we will be very anxious.

Identifying and understanding both Sloth/Torpor & Restlessness and Anxiety are essential to developing a mind that is both peaceful or restful and alert or active.

 

Remedies:

Ajahn Brahmavamso said “Sloth and torpor is overcome by rousing energy. Energy is always available but few know how to turn on the switch, as it were. Setting a goal, a reasonable goal, is a wise and effective way to generate energy, as is deliberately developing interest in the task at hand. A young child has a natural interest, and consequent energy, because its world is so new.” ( ref- http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebmed051.htm )

 

So you can overcome Sloth-torpor by-

- Choosing a goal or direction to achieve energy

- Stimulate yourself by broadening your mind and focusing on your surroundings.

- Notice Complacency.

- Notice resistances and plan for how to overcome them.

- Make positive thoughts. Thoughts can increase or decrease your energy, etc.

 

 Restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)

 

Restlessness is feeling of over-excitement. It agitates the mind, so it doesn’t have the time to see completely. Restlessness is unpleasant and sometimes irritating, so there is a tendency of the mind to push it away.

 

Remedies:

  1. Try to be more concentrated or focused. Example- try to count your breathing until mind comes back to balance.
  2. You can try Loving kindness Practice and try to make your mind happy. Because a happy mind never become restless.
  3. Try smiling during practice to feel happy.
  4. You can try to broad your focus and listen to your surroundings.
  5. If restlessness is increasing, sometimes “bargaining” can be useful.  Such as-“I’ll just pay strict attention on breath counting for next 10 breaths.”
  6. Restlessness can be unpleasant and irritating, but try to stay with it and experience it. Don’t get caught by the contents of its story and don’t push it away. Don’t resist it. Don’t be in a rush to get rid of it.

 

 Doubt (vicikicchā)

Doubt means lack of conviction or trust. It is a dangerous hindrance. It can cause a person to give up the practice. Doubt interrupts with the collecting or arranging of data with unwanted premature questions. It interferes with the process of observation.

 

Remedies:

Any kind of doubt can be overcome by strong mindful attention. You can again work with the RAIN formula to identify and overcome it.

The most important thing about working with Doubt is, you have to learn to recognize it. You have to know, when it arises and what are the subjects. With a persistent doubt you can work with it getting clear instructions and talking. If anyone really absorbs the value of one moment of mindfulness, maybe he or she will not be trapped by Doubt.

 

So, these are the hindrances of meditation and few ways to overcome them. Hindrances are faced by every meditation practitioners. Everyone who is facing hindrances have to identify it properly by investigating it. Then he or she has to take it easily and try to overcome it. These are hindrances but not real obstructions for meditations.

Please read-

Preparation of Meditation

________________________________________

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

 

Green tea,

botanical name ‘Camellia sinensis, an ancient herbal medicine first used in China. With a thousand years of health healing history it is still now a very familiar drink worldwide. During processing green tea undergoes with minimal oxidation and fermentation.

Parts of Camellia sinensis used as green tea:

  1. Leaf bud
  2. Leaf
  3. Stem

  

Manufactured as-

  1. Bottled and sweated with artificial sweetener
  2. In Single tea bags
  3. Loose leaf
  4. Instant powder form

 

Main ingredients with their mechanism of action:

1. Polyphenols: All act as very powerful antioxidants.

  • Flavonoids
  • Catechins
  • Epigallocatechin Gallate

 2. Caffeine: Caffaine blocks neurotransmitter Adenosin, which is inhibitory to nerves.

 3. Amino acid:

  • L-theamine: It acts as a stimulator to inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and also act as an antioxidant.

 

Usage or usefulness as traditional medicine:

1. In cardiovascular system:

It helps to lower blood cholesterol level and act as a strong antioxidant. LDL or low density lipid is oxidized and do a major role in the development of certain cardiac problems such as acute heart attack or heart failure. This antioxidant prevents oxidation of LDL and prevents cardiac problems.

2. Controlling hypertension:

Increased blood cholesterol level and obesity are two major risk factors to develop hypertension or high blood pressure. Green tea (Catechins) reduces cholesterol and triglyceride level in blood and helps in weight loss and prevents to develop and control high blood pressure. It also prevents dizziness and orthostatic hypotension in old people.

3. In brain function:

It causes improvement of memory.

It prevents coagulate formation in cerebral vessels and delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease and helps in improvement of Parkinson’s disease.

Caffeine is a brain stimulator and helps in freshness. It improves moods and memory. It also improves responsiveness too. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1356551)  and (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1572S.long)

Adenosine Improve brain function

Amino acid L-thiamine, which can cross the blood brain barrier and stimulates neurotransmitter GABA, acts as an anxiolytic and cures chronic fatigue syndrome.

It has effect on reducing the headache.

4. Controls and prevents type 2 Diabetes:

Green tea can increase insulin sensitivity and control type-2 diabetes. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23803878 )

It also has a preventive effect on developing type-2 diabetes. It reduces about 42% risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

5. Boosts our immunity:

It helps to boost our immunity. Its polyphenols reduce inflammation and reduces swelling. It prevents different viral infections like Human Pappiloma Virus and prevents cervical dyspepsia. It also prevents influenza virus infection.

It acts as a bactericidal and prevents infections.

6. As an anti cancer medication:

Several studies show that green tea has a strong inhibitory effect on cancer cell growth. Catechins and Epigallocatechin Gallate decrease cancer cell growth in a sustain way.

It prevents

It has also a positive effect on the lungs, gastric and skin cancer prevention.

7. Gastrointestinal effects:

Green tea is very helpful for treatment of abdominal disturbance and reduces vomiting and diarrhea. It also used in Crohn’s disease to symptom relieve.

8. As a weight loss supplement:

Green tea used to reduce weight. Though it doesn’t affect rapidly but Catechins causes increased metabolism of fat and fat burn. It also reduces cholesterol and triglyceride level of blood.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326618)

Caffeine causes stimulation of cells and increase metabolism and calorie consumption. Ultimately body weight reduces. But some study shows no effect on weight loss and some shows opposite. (http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/292/1/R77)

9. Effects on kidney:

It prevents renal stone and improves kidney function.

10. Prevent skin damage:

It is used to improve skin complexion and cleanliness. FDA approved a cream made from green tea extract used in genital wart.

 

There are many more good effects of green tea like it prevent osteoporosis, relieves stress etc. and act as a breath freshener!

 

Effects on pregnancy and lactation:

It is not established either it has any good or bad effect during pregnancy and lactation. But it should be avoided during pregnancy. It may cause harm to the fetus.

 

Side effects of green tea:

  • In anemia it may worsen the disease.
  • In an anxiety disordered patient, it may worsen the symptom.
  • Caffeine increases bleeding tendency. It should not used by the patients who are already taking blood thinners.
  • Arrhythmia of heart may develop by excess taking of green tea.
  • Sometimes, it causes diarrhea, and worse the symptom of IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
  • It may cause glaucoma to our eye and may do injury of our liver.

Some myths of green tea-

‘Adding milk with green tea can cause damage to our body’

It is wrong. But adding milk may impair its efficacy on our body. Milk will reduce its absorption in our gastrointestinal tract. (http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/8617188)

‘It can cause allergic reactions’

Yes. If you are allergic to any herbal product please use it cautiously. If any allergic reaction occurs, stop taking green tea and consult with a doctor.

‘Green tea causes dehydration’

No. It will rehydrate you.

‘Magic toy of weight loss’

Wrong. It may reduce your weight, but not in a dramatic way. If you take other measures of weight loss it may act as an additive to them.

 

Green tea, a traditional medicine and a healthy drink, has many good effects. We can start a habit to take 4-5 cup of green tea daily.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

Scientist search in Mars only for water, why?

Every planet is found in their telescope, scientist thinks for water on their surface, why?

Because, water means life. A drop of water may be the evidence of life.

The real truth is we are made of water! Yes, about 60% of our body composition is water. Our brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. (http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html )

So, water really means life. We always neglect to drink adequate amount of water. Most of the people remain in chronic dehydrated stage.

Let’s see how our body needs water-

1. Water remains in every cell of our body:

More than 60% of a cell contains water. It persist as intra cellular fluid as the main content of cell cytoplasm, enzymes, hormones, main contributor of any cellular organelle in each cell. Or persist as extra cellular fluid such as plasma, urine, peritoneal fluid, intestinal fluids, cerebrospinal fluid etc. It is the main composition of every organ of our body.

2. It is the main mediator for every metabolic reaction:

Without water any cellular organelle cannot work. Every metabolic reaction takes places by the presence of water. Dehydrated cells may die within few hours.

3. Helps in growth:

Without water cellular growth is impossible. Low water intake may cause restriction of cellular growth by reducing different hormone synthesis and arresting cell division like mitosis.

4. Helps to maintain the faction of every organ:

It is not only main contributor of a organ formation, it also necessary to maintain its normal physiology. Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, even hard bone also need water to maintain their normal function.

5. Transport function:

Blood is the main transporter of nutrient and oxygen of our body. Plasma causes transport of antibodies and electrolytes. Blood cell and plasma both are formed mainly by water. Blood cell production is dependent on adequate amount of water in our body.

6. Immune function: Dehydrated person lose their immunity gradually. Immune cell production and transportation depends on body fluid.

7. Helps in digestion and absorption: It helps in digestion of food by preparing different enzymes and gut hormones. It also helps to maintain our bowel habit.

Water has countless effects and needs in our body. These are basics of our body. Without water we can’t live. But these are not visible to us. So we don’t care about taking of plenty of water.

 

There are some effects that we can easily understand-

  1. It keeps you hydrated: Water keeps you hydrated and you feel fresh.
  2. Helps to maintain muscle strength: It helps to maintain muscle physiology. Dehydration may cause fatigability and weakness of your muscle.
  3. Helps skin looking good: 64% of skin tissue is composed of water. Dehydration causes loss of your skin shininess, smoothness and increase dryness and wrinkle. We use different moisturizers to prevent dryness but we are unaware to take water or fluid adequately.
  4. It helps cleaning inner body: Kidney and stool with the help of water excrete different toxic waste product by formation of urine and stool.
  5. Helps in weight loss: It is a drink contains no calorie. It helps in fat burn and adequate water intake may help to feel satiety. So, frequent water intake may cause weight loss.
  6. Maintain normal bowel function: It is necessary to form soft stool. Plenty of water drinking helps to get rid of constipating bowel habit.
  7. Prevent joint pain: Synovial fluid act as a lubricant in joint space. 98% composition of synovial fluid is water. So adequate water intake helps to prevent joint pain.
  8. Prevents heart attack: Drinking a good amount of water reduces your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses. (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/155/9/827.full)
  9. Prevents headache: If you are mildly dehydrated, headache may arise as your first symptom. Water is need for brain and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid). Most of the people may feel headache at mid day, because at that hour we may remain at dehydrated state.
  10. Mood improvement: Drink water makes you fresh. It has great effect on mood improvement.
  11. Prevent cancer: Daily plenty of water taking reduces risk of colon cancer 45%. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10404059 ), bladder cancer by 50% (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/331514.stm) and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.

There are thousands of benefits to drink adequate amount of water.

How water losses occur from our body?

Water is excreted through different ways, like-

  1. Skin evaporation
  2. Breathing
  3. Urination (highest)
  4. With stool
  5. Salivation

Which factors increases water loss?

  1. Hot and warm climate : causes excessive sweating
  2. Exercise: Increase sweating and breathing.
  3. In high altitude: Increases breathing.
  4. Older people: They have less subcutaneous fat. So skin evaporation increased.
  5. Disease- Some disease causing diarrhea, vomiting etc
  6. Pregnancy and lactation.

So, if we are facing any factors among this we have to intake more water than our regular requirements.

The 8 cup myth:

It is a myth. It is not scientifically established that we need 8 cup of water daily. But it is true that if we take minimum 8 cup of water, we can easily maintain a good physical status regarding water demand. But if any of the dehydration causing factors is present, we have to take more water.

We all know about the importance and benefits of water. But still we are drinking water as the second most popular drink! Yes, 1st one is soft drink. Water is maintaining internal environment of our body. So, don’t be reluctant to drink adequate amount of pure water.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

Sleep is a naturally recurring state,

characterized by altered consciousness level.

Don’t be afraid. It’s not a coma. It is easily reversible. During sleep the ability of our body to reacts any stimuli is decreased. Because in this time our all sensory activities and about all voluntary muscle activities is inhibited. It is a natural phenomenon for all animals. It is true that, scientists still do not have a definitive explanation why we need sleep.

But what will happen if sleep is disturbed? Sleep disturbance or Insomnia, are common terms used by more than 60 % of adult people.

People, who are suffering from sleep disorders, do not get adequate or restorative sleep and sleep deprivation is associated with a number of both physical and emotional disturbances. They feel dizzy and lethargic all the day and can’t enjoy any work. Some people try with sedatives for sleep. But again feel dizzy during work hour as a side effect. So what should we do?

Try to follow these steps and hopefully you will get a better sleep.

  1. Select your sleeping hours and follow it strictly:
    • At first choose your sleeping hours. Your target should be daily 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Go to bed and wake up at specific time daily. Be strict to follow it. Always go to bed at same time at night and use an alarm to wake up at morning.
    • Never look for time. Even you are failed to sleep and passing hours to get a sleep. Don’t think how many hours you couldn’t sleep. Wake up at specific time at morning.
    • Try to forget the sleepless night. You have to think you slept your selected hours. Don’t try to take a nap thinking that you have to fulfill your daily sleep requirement. But taking 10-15 minute short nap at afternoon is good for your work. You can take it by closing your eyes and relaxing your muscle at your workplace in a chair.
    • Repeat it next night and next nights. After few days your sleep cycle will be restored in your brain. It is called biological clock or circadianrhythm of our body which is mediated by neurons and hormones. (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tc/sleep-and-your-body-clock-topic-overview )
    • After going to bed avoid any kind of work such as browsing news by your mobile or using phone for unnecessary conversations. Just switch the light off and ready for sleeping.

 

  1. Create a proper sleeping environment:
    • Don’t use your bed room for your office work.
    • Get relaxed before sleeping. Taking a shower before sleeping is helpful.
    • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. But be careful about allergens. Try to clean them regularly. Any odd odor or color which can make you irritated and anxious should be avoided.
    • You should use dark quiet and interruption free bed room.
    • If possible air conditioning and suitable temperature should be maintained.

 

  1. Exercise and relaxing activities and set mood before going to bed:
    • Take regular exercise. It can be light as yoga or moderate as cardiac friendly as walking and jogging or heavy for body building. Morning is the preferable time. Exercise and a bath at morning will make you fresh and dizziness will be gone.
    • Take light meditation or yoga practice before bed time for few minutes. It relaxes and relieves stress. An anxiety free relax mood is necessary for a good sleep.
    • You can do your favorite activities like watching TV shows or reading books for half an hour. But never try it after switching off your light at your bed time.

 

  1. Dietary habit:
    • Finish your sapper at least 2 hours before sleep time. Eating or drinking too much may make you uncomfortable. Avoiding heavy meal closing to bed time is good. Try to avoid spicy food and restrict fluid intake before bed time. Spicy food may cause heartburn.
    • Avoid caffeine. Don’t eat too much coffee or tea in a day. They stimulate our nervous system and causes excitement. Try to take last cup of coffee or tea at least 7-8 hours before your bed time.
    • Don’t use nicotine as a cigarette or other tobacco products. It is also a central nervous system stimulant.
    • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Although many people think, it is a sedative. But it disrupts sleep and causes nighttime awakening.

So, try to follow these four steps. You will sleep better.

___________________________________

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

Meditation

A process to get the deepest experiences of ourselves as human being. It is the strongest mental exercise. Many people tell about the meditation, some of them are already practicing it.

But for meditation you have to take some preparations. It has some ancient traditions. If you want to meditate yourself properly some special preparations and steps are needed prior to starting it. These preparations help us to be concentrated and focused to our meditation session. Getting prepared for meditation is strongly related to getting relaxed and comfortable. All preparations, which we take for a meditation session, are for our mental calmness and relaxation and also help us to focus on our goal.

There are two headlines regarding preparation of meditation.

First is, Preparation of yourself.

Second is, Preparation of your surroundings (meditation room or place).

 

Preparation of yourself:

1. Select a time and place for meditation:After determination of practicing meditation you should take some classes about it in nearest meditation training centers. Then you have to choose a specific daily hour or time for practicing it. Without a routine, you will be irregular and your focus will be hampered.

Usually we prefer morning hours. At that time environment and air is fresh and our mind remains clam. But some prefer night hours just before sleeping to relieve his or her stress and to feel relaxed after a long busy day.

Then choose a place where you will practice meditation. It can be calm and quite open ground, an open space near your house or a room of your house. If not possible you can choose a corner of a room for practice. You have to decorate it properly. We will discuss it later.

2. Prepare your body:Freshen up yourself. Use the toilet, wash your hands and feet, and get into comfortable clothing. You may take a bath before your meditation session. These are not essential. But these are symbolic and the act of washing yourself will help you to feel fresh and clean. Otherwise bathing is quite relaxing for all of us. It has good positive effect on our mood.

You can eat light meal or drink a little if you are hungry or thirsty. After eating or drinking wait a while to allow your body to digest. Waiting at least half an hour is better. Otherwise you will feel groggy and it will be difficult for you to sit comfortably.

3. Take ‘time out’: You can take simple ‘time out’ before meditation practice for relaxing your mind. You can read a book, take a walk or do something which will make u comfortable. You have to be calm and relax for a good meditation. So, doing favorite works before meditation for a while is very much appreciated.

4.Prepare your mind for light activity during meditation:Doing light activities during meditation are very important, like- deep breathing or light exercise or some yoga asanas, to relieve your stress. Stress not only affects on your mind but also your whole nervous system. So, light exercise or physical activities increase your oxygenated blood supply to different organs which is also helpful to get rid of stress.

Preparation of surroundings for a good meditation:

1.Choosing a proper place:You can meditate in an open park or in your house. Open park or your house lawn is very good, because meditation with light aerobic exercise is helpful for more oxygenated blood supply, weight reduction and causes calorie burn. But finding a calm environment is difficult in a park or in an open area. Modern civilization gives thousands of opportunities by killing beauties of environment.

You can decorate a room of your house for meditation. If not possible use a corner of a room and decorate it properly. But try to isolate the area with a privacy screen. You must not choose your bedroom. It’s better to choose a study room or work room. A room with natural lighting and ventilation would make a good meditation room. But, it is good to use a separate room like basement or a vacant room or an empty space in your home as a meditation corner. The color of the wall of your room is also important. Choosing bright color is not appropriate. But if you feel okay you can continue with your current meditation space. A meditation room neither should be too cold nor too warm. Without a proper environment you cannot focus and meditation may be failed. Use this place permanently for practicing meditation. A meditation room also reflects your personality.

2. Keep clean the meditation space:You must keep your meditation space clean and tidy. Without a clean and organized place your mind can be deviated and it will become quite difficult to meditate.

3. Proper lighting:Proper lighting is very important for meditation. Subdued lighting
is preferable. You can use a candle which is few inches burned. You can use over head light too. But it is too bright. Otherwise candles gives you worm light which is helpful to meditate. Avoiding fluorescent or traditional halogen light is better.  Fluorescent lights causes anxiety and fatigue in many people, so avoid them. But meditation is a mind exercise. If it is comfortable you can use your room light.

4. Choosing a mat:It is better to avoid meditating directly on the floor. Choosing a proper mat is important. Be careful about its length and breadth. Its color is also important. May be it will be irritating to you. You can choose soft yoga mat. A mat should be comfortable and without comfortable sitting you can’t start a meditation practice session. For better comfort, you may also use a soft cushion for backrest. You can use chair to sit upright. But I prefer mat. Because sitting near to ground is symbolic and more helpful to feel what you are doing.

5. Use a blanket:You should keep a blanket beside you. Color, weight and size should be comfortable to you. You can use it around your shoulder to feel worm which is important too.

6. Use some flowers:Use some fresh flowers in vases in your practice space. This will take your mind near to the nature.

7. Play some music:You can play a quite music in background. Try to use music without vocal. Instrumental music is appropriate. This will help you to keep your mind isolated from other surroundingunpleasant sound. You can use a small artificial fountain too. The crisp trickling sound of water will also make the room soothing and serene. Or, you can avoid music too. It depends upon your mood and your comfort.

8. Use aromatherapy oils:It is symbolic. But it is helpful.

9. Use relaxing scent:You should choose a relaxing scent. There are many types of fragrances. But some people feel irritating in different fragrances. So use which one is suitable for you. You may avoid this if you are allergic to it or if it irritates you.

10. Dream board and images:You may use a large paper as your dream board by attaching different images of your previous activities. These images will help you to remind your deepest desire and your actual goal.

11. Your favorite reminders-Use your favorite reminders to surround you or decorating the room. Keep your favorite table, chair or furniture even picture in the room. This will make your mind calm and feel pleasant. It means personalize your meditation space according to your favorite and comforting way.

12. Alarm clock:You can use an alarm clock for reminding the end of your practice session. So your mind will free from concerning about time and it will prohibit watching clock repeatedly.

13. No clutter: Don’t clutter up your space with many things. Just keep it simple and nice. Don’t decorate your space or room with unnecessary accessories. You should only surround yourself with meaningful items. Don’t clutter, that will distract you from your actual purpose. Your room should include only those things that help to relax you.

14. Others:Switch off or keep silent your mobile and telephone during meditation session. You should use a “Don’t Disturb” sign in front of your room. Shut your door before starting. Turn off any other appliances or instruments that may interfere your session.

But preparing yourself is not so important to be meditated. You can try to be relaxed in your office for 5-10 minutes by meditation. 

Where to find these meditation materials?

You will find these materials in near market and in sports shop. Some meditation centers also sell it. You have to choose only. But choose comfortable one.

Meditation is a process to be relaxed. So preparation of meditation is not preparing your room by a checklist. It means prepare yourself and make your meditation place comfortable and relaxing to you. So, don’t be afraid if your meditation place misses something. These items are not strictly required for your practice. Which is required is calmness of your mind and devotion and strong focus to be meditated.

But a good meditation preparation will help you to have a good and effective meditation session.

 

Please Read-

Hindrances of meditation and how to overcome them!

 ________________________________________

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

 

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