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Sleeping more during weekends may up heart disease

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New York, June 5: Do you tend to sleep more on weekends than on week days? Beware, you are more likely to experience ‘social jet lag,’ which is associated with the increased risk of heart disease, researchers warned.

The findings showed that each hour of social jet lag — which occurs when one goes to bed and wakes up much later on weekends than during the week — is associated with an 11 per cent increase in the likelihood of heart disease.

Social jet lag also leads to poorer health, worse mood, as well as increased sleepiness and fatigue.

“These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,” said lead author Sierra B. Forbush, a research assistant at the University of Arizona in the US.

“This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be effective, relatively simple, and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems,” Forbush added.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommendations, adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

For the study, published recently in the journal Sleep, the team analysed survey responses from 984 adults between the age of 22 and 60 years.

Social jet lag was assessed using the sleep timing questionnaire and was calculated by subtracting weekday from weekend sleep midpoint.

Overall health was self-reported using a standardised scale, and survey questions also assessed sleep duration, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and sleepiness.

IANS

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Entertainment

On World Music Day, singing legend Lata Mangeshkar’s tips to singers

I never could bear to hear myself. Whenever a song of mine would play on the radio or television, I’d quickly leave the room. If I ever hear myself singing, I find a dozen faults.

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Lata Mangeshkar

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) Singing Legend Lata Mangeshkar doesn’t listen to much of today’s music. Not that she listens to her own songs either.

“I never could bear to hear myself. Whenever a song of mine would play on the radio or television, I’d quickly leave the room. If I ever hear myself singing, I find a dozen faults,” says the eternal songstress with a laugh.

Strange, coming from a singer who is known to be ceaselessly faultless. In fact once the great Hindustani classical vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had affectionately cribbed: “Kambhakt, kabhi besura nahin gaati(the devil, she never goes off-key).”

Lataji laughs at this. “Woh unka badappan tha (that was his greatness). But any artiste, singer or otherwise, must keep striving for excellence, no matter how much they achieve. Nowadays I don’t see that ‘lagan’ (discipline), that ‘junoon’ (passion) in singers.

“I get the feeling they are happy achieving what they get to achieve in no time at all. No artiste should be satisfied with what he or she has achieved. There is always another sky to conquer beyond the one that you think you’ve just reached.”

The one thing that Lataji sees lacking in singers today is practice. “Riyaaz. That is what makes singing worthwhile. I never felt I had enough time to do riyaaz because I was in and out of recordings constantly. But I still made time to do riyaaz. Alas, not enough time. I wish I had devoted more time to practicing my classical singing. Singers today are losing touch completely with their classical heritage. An A.R. Rahman or a Shankar Mahadevan are so successful and long-lasting because they know their classical heritage.”

Lataji also warns against imitative music. “Re-mixes and cover versions of old classics are very lazy routes to instant success. Remember, a song that has attained a classic’s status is regarded so highly because it is of a quality that cannot be replicated. I’ve heard some of the re-mixes of the songs sung by Rafi Saab, Kishoreda (Kumar), Mukesh Bhaiyya, me and my sister Asha. And I cringe.Please, create original music. Imitation is not creation. It isn’t even art.”

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Lifestyle

Motorcyclist on a multi-nation anti-plastic mission

Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

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anti plastic campaign

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) With India estimated to generate 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, media professional Abhimanyu Chakrovorthy, 31, has set off on a 10,000 km crowdfunded motorcycle expedition through India and five neighbouring Southeast Asian countries to spread awareness of its pernicious effects and to encourage people to shun its use.

“I have always been environmentally conscious about issues such as climate change and wildlife, and I used to practice this concept of outdoor ethics called ‘Leave No Trace’ in the Himalayas where you pick up your own waste and dispose it off properly.

“I am also a motorcycle enthusiast who has toured quite extensively across India. So this presented a unique opportunity to merge my two passions: Motorcycling and addressing the menace of plastic pollution in Southeast Asia and India. Hence this trip from New Delhi, covering more than 10,000 km, travelling to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal to raise awareness on plastic pollution,” Chakrovorthy told IANS in an interview just before he set off.

How exactly will it work on the ground?

During the journey, through tie-ups with NGOs and schools in the five countries, he has planned beach and city clean-up initiatives and will conduct short sessions/presentations with them on the global scenario in plastic pollution and what India is doing to fight it.

“Through these workshops, I will share knowledge about India’s waste management system, and also learn from them their solutions to the plastic pollution problem. Some of these countries have taken affirmative action on plastic and I want to understand more of what and how they’re doing it. The focus of my work will be on reducing, reusing and recycling waste as much as possible. Through this trip, I plan to document plastic consumption in these countries and their waste management processes,” Chakrovorthy explained.

The planning, he said, had been quite a nightmare. For instance, he figured it would cost Rs 70,000 one way through Myanmar and at least Rs 80,000 one way through Thailand.

“At this stage, a friend told me about (crowdoutsourcing platform) Milaap. This presented some hope because I couldn’t bear the cost on my own. So I got down to work and prepared my statement of purpose over one week for the trip to be advertised on Milaap.

“The fundraiser is still live on the platform and I am hoping to raise some money through it. My target is Rs 3 lakh and till now I have reached just Rs 40,000 but I am hopeful my story will resonate with people and some funding comes through Milaap. I believe the momentum against plastic pollution is strong and through this trip I will highlight all the challenges that come with waste management in Southeast Asia and India,” Chakrovorthy explained.

What about the back-up for the journey?

“I am positive that Plan A will work out, because there’s still some time to raise funds (through the platform). I am also in talks with a few potential sponsors who might come on board to help me out with resources. However, the Plan B is to simply skip Nepal and put my bike on train from Imphal (on the return leg) to New Delhi in case I fall short of money. Other than this, I don’t see any other issue,” Chakrovorthy responded.

What of the future?

“In the near future, I will be organising few more clean-ups in association with embassies and institutions such as Delhi Civil Defence and Delhi Police focusing on communities and societies by asking them to moderate their consumption so that less waste ends up in our ever-increasing landfills,” Chakrovorthy concluded.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at [email protected] )

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Lifestyle

Treat your dad to some sweet delights on Father’s Day

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fathers day feature

Whip up some sugar free sweet delights and drinks for your father on Father’s Day on Sunday, suggest experts.

Chef Kunal Kapur and Sohan Singh, Technical Manager, South Asia, PureCircle, have listed a few simple recipes for you to try out:

* Badam Elaichi Shake

* Ingredients:

Milk – 3 cups

Almonds (peeled and chopped) – 1/2 cup

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Saffron – 5 strands

Vanilla ice cream – 2 scoops (optional)

* Method: Mix all the ingredients and blend in a blender. Froth it up and serve chilled, garnished with almond flakes.

-*-

* Fruit Custard (Sweetened with Natural Sweetener Stevia)

* Ingredients:

Custard Powder – 1 tablespoon

Milk -250 ml

Cold milk – 1 tablespoon

Sugar free green -9.5 scoop

* Method: Combine custard powder and the cold milk in a small cup. Stir until smooth. Place custard mixture, sugar free green and remaining milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until custard comes to a boil and thickens. Simmer and stir for one minute.

Keep the custard in the fridge to cool before adding the fruits. Chop the fruits, once the custard has cooled add the fruits and mix well. Serve garnished with some more fruits and pomegranate arils

-*-

* Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits

* Ingredients:

Muesli -5 teaspoon

Yogurt -100 g

Mango slice – 2

Pomegranate – half cup

Walnut – 4 pieces

Almond – 2 pieces (broken)

Mint leaves- 2-4 leaves

Any other seasonal fruit

Sugar free green – 4 scoops

* Method: Take a glass mug or a long glass. Fill bottom of glass with muesli. In a separate bowl take curd and add sugar free green. Mix them well. Pour half of curd into the glass, and then add fruits. Pour remaining curd in glass and then add dry fruits, and few more fruit. Garnish with mint leaves.

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