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Genki Sleep

Better sleep with wholesome superfoods.

How much sleep do you need?

  • Adults, including the elderly, need between 7-8 hours of sleep a day.

  • Children require more sleep, with newborns needing at least 16 hours a day.

What is the relationship between sleep and the immune system?

  1. Research shows that losing even 2-3 hours of sleep for a week can impair the immune system. Sleep loss can adversely affect white blood cell counts and the chemicals that drive immune response.

  2. According to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), our immune system produces cytokines (a powerful sleep inducer) when fighting an infection, hence we feel drowsy when we have flu.

  3. Scientists in Turkey studied a group of healthy young men who were deprived of sleep for 48 hours, the blood samples showed lower concentration of Natural Killer (NK) cells. NK cells are white blood cells that kill enemy cells including cancer cells.

  4. Researchers studied 2 groups of volunteers who were vaccinated against hepatitis A, the group allowed a full night’s sleep had nearly two times more hepatitis A antibodies than those kept awake for a whole night.

How does sleep affect your health?

  1. Nervous System: Without good sleep, the sympathetic nervous system becomes more active, inhibiting the pancreas from releasing enough insulin for the body to process glucose and it will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  2. Heart: Lack of sleep increases the risk of calcium clogging up the coronary arteries or known as coronary artery calcification. Stress hormones and proteins thought to play a role in heart disease may be released due to lack of sleep and contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke.

  3. Weight: Insufficient sleep has been associated with lower levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger, and higher levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone. Hence, a lack of sleep may increase hunger pangs, causing increased food intake, and it may result in obesity.

What are the main causes of lack of sleep or insomnia?

  1. Lack of Tiredness: Technological advances have reduced daily levels of physical activity and such sedentary lifestyles affect sleep because not enough energy to exhaust the body.

  2. Excessive Stress: When we feel stressed, the body increases its levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), causing sleeplessness or poor sleep.

  3. Poor Sleep Environment: Excessive noise, bright lights, watching TV, too cold or too hot, uncomfortable bedding and bed partners with sleeping problems (e.g. snores).

  4. Inappropriate Diet:

    • Foods high in spice, fat, and acid tend to trigger heartburn and as lying down makes heartburn worse.

    • Snacking on high-fat, low-fiber foods (e.g. meat products) before bedtime could lead to indigestion, which then leads to insomnia.

    • Caffeine in foods such as coffee, tea, cola, and guarana stimulates the central nervous system and may aggravate stomach discomfort, adversely affecting sleep.

    • Alcoholism also increases the risk of having obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that interrupts sleep.

  5. Medical conditions: People with sleep apnea cannot sleep well because they stop breathing or have shallow breaths for brief periods while sleeping.

Why plant-based food can help to promote sleep?

  1. Some plant food contains nutrients that able to promote sleep such as theanine in the green tea and melatonin in the feverfew.

  2. The scent of the food such as the fragrance of jasmine is useful in soothing the senses, alleviating anxiety, and promoting sleep.

  3. A healthy body should not suffer from sleep problem unless they are under stress and depression and you can maintain the body health with good food such as: -

    • Detox and cleansing with high fibre food like psyllium husk and banana

    • Liver protection with HDM in oriental raisin tree and ginsenosides in American Ginseng

    • Rejuvenating food that contributes to long life and many health benefits like Ashitaba due to 4 superb nutrition called Flavonoids, Coumarins, Chlorophyll and Chalcones.

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