Sleep is one of the most important physiological processes, allowing the body and mind to recharge as well as stave off diseases. Without adequate sleep, both physical and cognitive performance can be impaired, with chronic lack of sleep leading to health issues such as weight gain, heart disease and diabetes; and affecting the functioning of the immune system in general. Dr. Jason Culp, Research & Development Director at leading international wellness destination Chiva-Som in Thailand, and Dr. Mubaris Ahamed T., Traditional Arabic & Islamic Medicine (TAIM) Specialist at Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som in Qatar, share their expert advice on achieving quality sleep to boost work-related performance and improve overall health.
Sleep plays a pivotal role in controlling the body's temperature and metabolism; keeping the immune system functioning; controlling brain function and restoring memory; repairing tissue and stimulating growth in children, and regulating appetites by controlling blood glucose levels. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep every night – however, busy work schedules, day-to-day stressors, a disruptive environment, stimulants such as caffeine and medical conditions can all prevent individuals from achieving this. There are a number of positive lifestyle and sleep habits that can be implemented to help get a good night's sleep, as Dr. Culp and Dr. Ahamed explain below.
SLEEP AND WORK PERFORMANCE BY DR. JASON CULP
"Have you noticed a decline in your productivity at work? Do you feel your creativity waning? How often do you find yourself working long into the night only to find that presentation or proposal you’ve worked on is mediocre at best?
For years, there has been a misconception in the work mindset that assumes the longer and harder we work each day, the greater our accomplishments. Unfortunately, the number of hours worked does not translate to the quality of work produced. How can we ensure the hours spent at a laptop or in meetings yield the greatest amount of productivity and highest quality outcomes? By getting enough sleep!
It's no secret that sleep is important for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. And yet we are faced with a paradoxical relationship between sleep and work: we don’t sleep well when stressed from work, but then become less productive at work due to poor sleep. This exhausting cycle continues until both work productivity and personal health suffer.
Sufficient sleep has been shown to boost focus, creativity, memory recall, productivity, and problem-solving capabilities. And when you sleep, the mind continues to work and make connections that you may not have been able to form during waking hours."
TIPS FOR QUALITY SLEEP
"Set firm work-life boundaries: You may feel that taking work home with you is necessary to finish the job. Perhaps you feel you don’t have a choice. But this practice of blending work and home life will not be helpful for work-life balance and may disrupt sleep and perpetuate a vicious cycle. Make clear boundaries on what work tasks are acceptable to take home, and designate time to relax and wind down in the evening. This includes turning off message alerts on your phone and not checking emails, which can quickly put you back into work mode."
TAIM AND SLEEP BY DR. MUBARIS AHAMED T.
"According to Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM), patients have one of four temperaments: sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and bilious. Each temperament pairs hot or cold and moist or dry. Temperament affects not only physical appearance and personality but also a person’s physical needs and predisposition to certain diseases.
While everyone needs sleep, requirements differ across temperaments and age groups. For example, the melancholic and bilious require a minimum of seven-eight hours, while the sanguine require only six-seven hours, and the phlegmatic even less at five-six hours. Infants and children require more sleep, as do women compared to men. For the elderly, additional sleep is beneficial to overcome the dryness associated with old age."
TIPS FOR QUALITY SLEEP
"The best time for sleep is from 10.00 pm until just before sunrise. The saying ‘early to bed and early to rise’ is of value as the freshness of the morning air, free of pollution, is ideal for health.
The best posture for sleep is to lie on your right side. This allows food in the stomach to move towards the intestines more easily, and secretions from the pancreas and liver are also facilitated. As the heart is more inclined to the left side of the body, lying on your right decreases pressure on the heart.
What and when you eat affects the quality of sleep. Incorporating banana, grapefruit, lettuce, sweet potato, walnut, herbal tea, turkey, some red meat and whole-grain into your daily diet can help with insomnia. Dinner should be consumed at least three hours before bed, with a walk 30 minutes after to aid digestion.
Napping after lunch can be beneficial, but should only last 20-30 minutes, although up to 60 minutes during summer is fine. However, napping should be avoided by melancholic and phlegmatic people.
Excessive sleep can give rise to too much cold and moisture in the body, which leads to depleted energy levels, disturbed digestion and metabolism, and a dulling of the mental faculties.
For those who have trouble falling asleep, try drinking chamomile tea, taking five grams of ashwagandha with warm milk, or applying five drops of sweet almond or violet oil to the top of the skull."
For more wellness articles by Chiva-Som, please visit www.chivasom.com/about-blog
DR. JASON CULP
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, CHIVA-SOM
For the past decade, Dr. Culp has held the position of senior naturopathic physician at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, where he conducts natural wellness consultations with guests. In addition to his role as naturopath, he is the founder and director of the Research & Development department, with the primary objective of evaluating and exploring the use of evidence-based natural therapies in a holistic wellness setting.
Dr. Culp lectures internationally on the topic of wellness. His philosophy is that in order to create sustainable health, guests must fully engage and play an active participatory role in their own wellness process. The empowerment of the individual and the guest’s authentic understanding of their wellness goals, intentions and motivations take precedence in health and healing. In this way, each guest leaves with the feeling that they are the most powerful advocate in their own wellness journey.
DR. MUBARIS AHAMED T.
TAIM SPECIALIST AT ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT BY CHIVA-SOM
Dr. Mubaris Ahamed T. is a Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine cupping therapist. A graduate of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, he graduated first in his class, going on to win numerous awards in his 14 years of practice.
Dr. Mubaris is at the forefront of research and innovation in Eastern therapies, including mind-body work. His trademark patience and compassion has ensured a loyal following of guests.
For more than 26 years, the award-winning Chiva-Som has pioneered transformative wellness practices to global acclaim. Its commitment to an innovative, holistic approach which expertly balances mind, body and spirit continues to this day with its flagship resort in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Optimal, bespoke wellness lies at the heart of each Chiva-Som experience. With its unique synergy of indigenous traditions and evidence-based wellness, Chiva-Som partners with guests on highly personalised wellness journeys focused on complete lifestyle transformation. At the new Zulal Wellness Resort, these extend to the entire family.
Guests are motivated throughout their journey by knowledgeable and caring staff, who address their goals with the unique heart of Chiva-Som hospitality.
Chiva-Som’s approach to wellness extends to the wider community, with educational opportunities and global sustainability initiatives at the core of everything we do.
ABOUT ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT BY CHIVA-SOM
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som is a unique haven for wellbeing, brought to life by Qatar’s premier master developers, Msheireb Properties. The Middle East’s first wellness resort offers guests unique services and treatments which are based upon Arabic & Islamic wellness principles and use ingredients indigenous to the region. Located in Khasooma, a private coastal location in the north of Qatar, Zulal Wellness Resort brings visitors a luxurious experience, offering the highest international standards that are inclusive of local family values.
Zulal, meaning ‘pure natural water’ in Arabic, offers two exclusive zones for health and wellbeing. Adults can access a wide range of therapeutic and lifestyle enhancement treatments at Zulal Serenity. The family resort, Zulal Discovery, enables families to enjoy positive wellness experiences together, inspiring young children and their parents with fun, interactive activities that help them learn more about adopting a healthy lifestyle.
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