Sunday, December 25, 2016

Able to sleep only for four hours at night? What you eat might be the problem.

This is a very important word of caution to everyone who feels their stomach is made of steel and they can handle any amount of restaurant food and street food.

There are four types of food you should avoid:
1. Food that is not fully cooked (you'll know when you start chewing it. Unripe fruits also fall in this category)
2. Food that has burnt particles in it or is partially burnt.
3. Food that's made of poor quality ingredients and adulterated foods (you'll know by the taste, texture and smell)
4. Food served at places that do not maintain hygiene (more about this below)

Let's start with 4:
There's a bacteria called H Pylori which tries escaping your stomach acids by destroying your stomach cells and hiding in that space. When these bacteria multiply, they destroy huge patches of your stomach and everytime you eat something, the stomach acids flow on those exposed patches and you feel a sharp pain. Medicines to close the ulcerated regions won't work because the bacteria is still there creating new patches on your stomach real estate. An endoscopy will show you the red patches in your stomach. Only an antibiotic will rid you of the bacteria.

How to avoid H Pylori?
One way H Pylori reaches your stomach is through the fingers of people who have H Pylori in their digestive system. When they don't wash their hands properly after using the loo, and they touch the food they are about to serve you, the bacteria gets onto the food and into your stomach. I believe most employees do wash, but there are some who don't. Try avoiding restaurants where you can see they do not take care to maintain the quality of the looks, cleanliness and food. It's very likely that such a restaurant would have an unhygienic work culture.


Points 1, 2 and 3:
Unknown to you, your stomach and intestines struggle to digest food that's improperly cooked, burnt or of poor quality, even a few hours after you have eaten it. When you are young and healthy, you won't notice it. The body can handle such occasional problems. But when you eat such food for a few years, your stomach starts weakening and you'll start experiencing not just a variety of stomach problems, but since your capacity to absorb nutrition is hurt, it affects everything else in your body too.
This person talks of not encouraging people to punch walls because it will lead to early arthritis. Same way, eating foods 1, 2 and 3 is a sureshot way of getting your stomach to old age while you are still young.
I remember a doctor telling me that the reason tissues become cancerous is because they have been repeatedly irritated for a long time.

How this is related to sleep:
I've faced this problem of falling asleep, waking up after 4 hours and then being unable to go back to sleep. There is even research done on it. Somehow, if the stomach is suffering from food that's tough to digest, you won't get sleep (lack of sleep leads to hair loss and a list of other massive health problems). Your only way out is to strictly avoid foods 1, 2 and 3. For some people, the stomach problem is visible by skin peeling off the sides of their nose or eyebrows. Something that helps lessen the effects of this is by drinking yogurt (Indians call it curd / dahi). Also make sure you don't drink adulterated milk or curd that's made from adulterated milk (for the curd you'll know if it is adulterated if it leaves a layery feeling inside your mouth after you have swallowed or spat it out).


Take care of your stomach and your stomach will take care of you. Nobody is invulnerable. Also ensure that you do regular exercise. Doing the Mayurasana is said to improve your core health in this respect.


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