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4 natural ways to prevent breast cancer

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012
The Star/ANN
By Dr Amir Farid Ishak

We already know that insufficient sleep is a risk factor for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sleep is the time that the body rests, recovers and repairs from the day's hectic work.

Each day, the body has to ensure thousands of metabolic processes run efficiently in the many organ systems. Much work is required to keep the body alive and healthy. With our unhealthy lifestyles, unhealthy diet and unhealthy environment, the body has much more work to do to keep the system going.

For example, each cell is bombarded by over 10,000 free radicals daily. There are toxic by-products of normal metabolism, as well as external toxins (including cigarettes and prescription drugs) which the body has to cope with.

Then there are the invading viruses, bacteria and parasites which are everywhere. Imagine how busy our defence/immune system must be.

During sleep, when there is no physical activity and eating (which consume most energy and produce most toxic by-products), the body's organ systems are able to recuperate and prepare for the following day's work. The only organs that do not rest as much are the heart and lungs, which have to continue working, although at slightly slower rates.

For some of us who dream often, the brain also remains active during sleep!

Now imagine if you are chronically deprived of adequate sleep. Even if each night, your deficit is only 5 per cent in terms of total replenishment and recuperation of your defence/immune system, over months and years, the cumulative deficit will take a toll on your body.

If you understand the power of compound interest, then you will understand my warning.

I had a first-hand experience of the importance of adequate sleep about 20 years ago. I had just recovered from a bad bout of "flu" and was asked to lead the Muslim night prayers (qiyamulail). I only slept for two hours and was up preparing for, and leading the prayers from 2am onwards till morning. By 6am, I had the full-blown "flu" again.

So the next time you catch the "flu", make sure you have adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, and gets lots of tender loving care!

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