Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 78, Tuesday, July 28, 2009




Sleep escapes

No matter how busy you are, never skimp on sleep. An average person needs about eight hours of sleep; less than that, and eventually you'll be incurring a 'sleep debt'. The deficit - the difference between the number of hours you ought to sleep and the amount you actually slept - can be paid off by sleeping the derived hours later, distributed over several nights.

You don't need to be an accountant and pay off the debt precisely; a few nights of quality sleep will erase the liability. If you feel drowsy throughout the day, one reason can be that you are suffering from the debt.

But what if you simply can't sleep? Insomnia has taken over, or it will - to many of us, at some point or another. Try some simple remedies:

The bottom line is to relax your body and calm down your nerves. There are many ways to do this. Try taking a relaxing bath- use bath salts to make the experience more relaxing. Or, ask someone, maybe your spouse, to give you a massage just before going to bed. Even a five-minute back-rub or scalp massage will work wonders.

Not everyone can have such luxuries though. Try a glass of warm milk before you go to bed; or herbal tea. Avoid chocolate, cola drinks, black tea and of course, coffee. Don't live under the illusion that alcohol and tobacco will soothe you and help you sleep. They, contrary to this popular belief, upset sleep.

But soft music helps a lot. Tune in to something soothing. To take it one step further, google for 'sleep music' and download some of the tracks specially made to induce sleep (most of them are not free, though) and listen to them in bed.

Always try to sleep on the back; this position gives proper rest to the internal organs. However, if nothing works; don't neglect the matter and visit a doc: insomnia is sometimes a symptom of other diseases.

The short escape
A short nap boosts up your energy, focus and productivity. It is rightfully called the 'power-nap'. In your workplace - maybe during midday - detach yourself; turn off the lights - and sleep. If you don't have a separate office, go to the most secluded corner, take out your sleep mask - and off you go. I know of an executive, working in a bank, who goes to the parking garage of his office and takes a nap in his car!

We Bangladeshis love our siesta. It's good in one way; simply overlap siesta with power-nap. But don't take a traditional one that takes up a couple of hours.

Exactly how short should your 'short escape' be? There's no rigid rule, but give not more than half an hour. Over-napping will offset sleep inertia- it will make you feel drowsy after you wake up, as if you had several hours of sleep. Set your alarm so that you can get back on time.

The shortest escape is the microsleep. This occurs when you are extremely sleep derived. A microsleep lasts not more than thirty seconds, and the person usually is unaware of it, wondering how he missed some parts of conversation, etc.

So, make sure you nap, or at least, sleep well at night, not only to enjoy numerous benefits, but also to avoid this particular kind of sleep (along with many other problems) because, if you 'microsleep' at the wrong time- for example, when driving- you might never wake up again!

By M H Haider

A True Taste Of Asia

Rice Salad
1 cup basmati rice, cooked
1 apple, diced
1 cup boiled green peas
Few cauliflower florets, boiled
1 lemon juice
Salad leaves to garnish
Cabbage (shredded) for garnishing
Salt and pepper

After boiling rice, let it cool and then add apples, green peas, cauliflower florets, salt and pepper.
Now add lemon juice and toss well and transfer to serving dish lined with salad leaves.
Garnish rice salad with shredded cabbage and coriander leaves.

Baked chicken breast with honey mustard sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1½ cups chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2½ tbsp honey
2 tbsp mustard
¼ cup sliced dried apricots
2 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 bunches fresh spinach, stems removed and rinsed thoroughly
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until done.
While chicken is baking, bring salted water to a boil to cook spinach.
While water is coming to a boil, begin sauce. Combine broth, lemon juice, honey, and mustard in a small saucepan. Whisk together and bring to a boil on high heat.
Once it comes to a boil, simmer for about 20 minutes. This can be done while chicken is baking. You want it to be reduced to a little less than half the volume you start with. This will thicken and intensify the flavour.
Add apricots and cook on high for another 5 minutes. When sauce is done add chopped walnuts, parsley, salt and pepper.
Cook spinach for only 2 minutes at the most. Drain and press dry. Season with a little salt and pepper. Divide spinach between 4 plates. Slice chicken breast and place over bed of spinach. Spoon sauce over chicken and spinach.


Check It Out

Get Glam

FARZANA Shakil's Makeover Salon is offering you the perfect opportunity to relax and feel fabulous with 30% off their exclusive services from 7 to 21 August 2009.

Treat your hair to a nourishing Protein Treatment that helps increase thickness and makes hair silky smooth. Pamper your tired feet with a rejuvenating Foot Spa that includes a relaxing massage.

Come indulge yourself…. you know you deserve it!
Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon is located at House#3/a, Road#28(Old)/15(New), Dhanmondi, (Opposite BFC) Dhaka 1205 AND at House#1/B, Road#5, Gulshan-1 (the road opposite Pizza Hut) Dhaka 1212.

Monsoon with Bibiana

DESIGNER Lipi Khondoker has designed Bibiana's monsoon collection in her own unique style. Among the collection, there are hand-painted saris depicting the flora and fauna of the rainy season, kodom and the peacock with its wings spread.

Besides hand-paint, outfits have also been done in block, tie and dye, and Bibiana's own Noksha, Shoili. Keeping the monsoon and evening parties in mind Bibiana has created blue and pink muslin contrast saris.

For teenage girls, there are short and long fatuas, shalwar kameez and skirts. There are also collections of fatua and panjabis for men. Those who prefer natural colours can choose from a range of dupattas, cushion covers, curtains, etc.

Bibiana's monsoon collection can be found at Bibiana's Dhanmondi, Baily Road, Aziz Supermarket, Banani #11 and Uttara outlets. # 8915741.

The Body Shop

NATURE'S way to be beautiful is being celebrated across more than 2500 of The Body Shop stores in over 55 countries worldwide. The Body Shop, whose values are against animal testing, support community trade, activate self-esteem, defend human rights and protect our planet, opened for business in 26th March 1976. It has now opened a franchise outlet in Pink city Gulshan-2, Dhaka since 2008 to serve the Bangladeshi customers. Today their company focuses in two issues 'Stop violence in the home' & 'HIV and AIDS'.

As of June 2007 the Body Shop turned 100% vegetarian. The company also pledges that by 2010, 80% of all its products will be artificial preservation free, as the company is researching many ways to use natural preservation, using tea tree oil for example, which is anti-bacterial.

The Body Shop opened a franchise outlet in Pink city Gulshan-2, Dhaka 2008 to make the availability of The Body shop products & services in the reach of Bangladeshi customers.



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