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The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better (by BBC Studios 2019)


Beauty and health

“The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better”, which was broadcasted on NHK Educational Television the other day, was very interesting.


At a time when coronavirus pandemic, even though everybody knows sleep is necessary to increase immunity, I guess many people cannot get enough sleep.


In the first place, the reason why people need sleep is because if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune systems get damaged. And it puts a lot of pressure to the body. Any damage during the day is fixed at night. But without that level of sleep, those things carry on being damaged next day and next day over the time. That’s why it has a relationship between not enough sleep and poor health.


70 percent of people in the UK don’t get enough sleep. In the program, they took four volunteers in their 20s and deprived them of sleep for 48 hours to show what happened.



Four volunteers, the presenter, and a doctor


The experiment showed that loss of concentration, memory, and resistance to pain.
Statics suggest that been reduced ability to cope with pain. Dopamine has a suppressive effect against pain. But if you don’t get enough sleep, its mechanism slows down the natural pain killer.


In fact, recent study reveals that adults sleep less than 7 hours are more likely to have painful chronic condition such as arthritis and back pain. Recommend sleep is 8 hours at night.


Insomnia is the most common sleep problem in the UK. A man has been suffering from insomnia for 20 years. Then, a sleep medicine professor of Oxford University made two suggestions to him.


The technique is called sleep restriction. First is “Get in bed later and get up earlier. Compress your sleep and squeeze time.”


And second is “After turning off a light, lay and try stay awake a little longer than usual. When your eyes are getting heavy, resist sleepiness gently like more 30 seconds.”


It seems that you fall asleep when you try to be awake, on the contrary. The man who was undergoing treatment tried to be awake, surprisingly he fell asleep before he was aware.


I also take long to fall asleep, so I tried this method and I was able to fall asleep quicker and sleep better than usual. If you take long to fall asleep, why don’t you try? (H.S)

Immune system: Best weapon to protect us


Beauty and health

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading in the world. First, it is important to wash your hands to prevent an infection. In addition, there is something we can do by ourselves, which is enhancing an immune system that is called the best weapon to protect us.


I quoted the following information from Erica Angyal Facebook page @ericaangyal. *Erica Angyal is a nutrition consultant from Australia, who served as an official nutrition consultant for Miss Universe Japan.)


⒈ Eat unprocessed natural foods
To enhance an immune system, good nutrition is necessary. Let’s eat a carrot, broccoli, blueberry, kiwi, cabbage, spinach and tomato proactively. These are rich in vitamin C or beta-carotene that enhances an immune system. Other than these, seaweed, mushroom, onion, garlic, ginger, yogurt, manuka honey, miso, and natto have an immunity-enhancing effect. Also, a freshly poured cup of green tea has a remarkable effect on improving immunity. On the other hand, sugar, margarine, ham, bacon, sausage, cake, cookie, donut, soft drink reduces the activity of immune system.


2. Get enough sleep
According to one study, those who sleep for less than seven hours are three times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep for about eight hours. And, if you have a lack of sleep even only a night, natural killer cells decrease by 28 percent. During the initial stage of sleep, different kinds of immune cells’ concentration reach their peak and stress hormone decreases. It shows how important sleep is.


3. Manage stress
If you become overtired or come under stress, the immune system is affected and becomes weak. When you feel stress, the activity of the immune system grows by stress management as you like such as breathing deeply, stretching, doing yoga, reading books or magazines, watching funny movies or TV shows and taking a nice long bath.


Also, aromatherapy is effective. Why don’t you add a drop of essential oil inside your mask? Not only boosting immunity but also fragrant, so it can be uplifting. Especially, bergamot seems to be most effective, but eucalyptus, tea tree, oregano, thyme, lemon, and lavender are also good. Taking a supplement of vitamin C in high doses or mineral zinc is effective as well.


Please prevent infection by cold, flu and COVID-19 by putting the above into daily life. (H.S)


Easy delicious yogurt with mixed dried fruit


Beauty and health

It is not easy to eat fresh fruit every day. But dried fruits are convenient as you can keep longer. Dried fruits contain condensed various nutrients and more dietary fiber than fresh ones, which are one of healthy ingredients.


So we should eat them positively but they are a bit hard to eat, if there is a negative point. Then, why don’t you mince, mix them with yogurt and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator? It becomes very delicious next morning.


Because the dried fruits absorb water from the yogurt and they become soft. Also, excess water of the yogurt is removed and it becomes creamy like a fancy dessert. This is exactly win-win, isn’t it? You can eat quickly after taking it out of the refrigerator, so it is convenient for breakfast. (H.S)


Topped with dried cranberries. Mix dried fruits at the bottom and eat.


Recently dates have become popular, which are good. They are nutritious and rich in minerals.


I recommend this yogurt by Koiwai Dairy Products Co., Ltd., which doesn’t have a sour taste and is creamy, so it is delicious on its own.

Reason Masayoshi Son visits a dentist every three months


Beauty and health

The other day, when I went to the dentist to get a regular checkup, I found copies of an article of the magazine PRESIDENT about dental health in the waiting room. I read with interest the article and I would like to introduce a part of it from PRESIDENT 2019.8.2.


The president of Softbank group, Masayoshi Son takes a great care of teeth for health. Despite being busy every day, he has been visiting a dentist every three months for years. He cannot drink at all and is less than picky about food, but he pays a great deal of attention to self-maintenance. Visiting a dentist every three months like Son, we can say that is a common sense today. It’s not an exaggeration to say that your teeth life decides how long you can continue to work actively.


Scale buildup is inevitable. And it causes a gum disease. Also, the fewer existing teeth, the more it boosts dementia risk. People with gum disease face a growing risk of cerebrovascular accident, cardiac affection, arterial sclerosis, aspiration pneumonia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. To extend healthy life expectancy, daily care of teeth is absolutely necessary.


Whenever I go to the dentist for a checkup, I get a plaque check with plaque agent. Sometimes I miss certain teeth for brushing without realizing. I will continue to brush my teeth properly to prevent of gum disease. (H.S)


The photo is from the PRESIDENT.

Dietary fiber also benefits brain health


Beauty and health

It is a well-known fact that dietary fiber is important. However, I don't think that its all effects are really understood. As a matter of fact, dietary fiber not only helps normalize your intestine flora but also blocks cholesterol absorption, so it can decrease neutral fat and bad cholesterol.


And, surprisingly, dietary fiber seems to be playing a significant role for anti-aging brain health. A new study finds that taking dietary fiber can reduce brain inflammation, so it reduces the risk of development of Alzheimer, dementia and Parkinson's disease. It means that you can keep your brain healthy and young by eating a high-fiber diet. I never imagined that dietary fiber is also linked to brain.


Foods containing good dietary fiber are beans, potatoes, seaweeds, walnuts, almonds, mushrooms, apples, prunes, figs, raspberries, broccoli, and avocados etc.. To take dietary fiber every day, I put powdered Japan agar when I cook rice. I put 20 grams of agar per about 150 grams of rice. The taste is the same, and I can take dietary fiber with rice that I eat every day, so it is very easy. In Suwa region in Nagano Prefecture, where is well known as the production area of Japan agar, to make rice taste good, cooking rice with agar is a longtime common custom. Now I feel it is missing something if agar is not put in rice. Speaking of Nagano Prefecture, it is also known as the longevity of its people. It may be thanks to dietary fiber. I would like to eat a high-fiber diet in the future as well. (H.S)


Reference and photo: Erica Angyal Facebook page