Month: May 2013

The Power of Sleep


SLEEP DEPRIVATION is a growing medical condition. As technology changes our ways of life, and demands of higher cost of living are inevitable as ever, the silent growing killer of sleeplessness have been taking toll to the health of many.

The culprits of the growing sleeplessness include: “the irresistible charms” of the internet, the seduction of video games and hundreds of TV channels from different nations, and in all field of interests, are only few of the many factors keeping people up until wee hours in the morning.

20130527-162241.jpgAccording to an intensive research at Harvard, 40% of the American people get less than the eight hours required sleep. The author of the Harvard Medical School’s Guide to a Goodnight Sleep, Dr. Lawrence Epstein emphasized, that “the link between sleep and health is getting clearer and clearer” these days.

Why do we need sleep?

Scientists are saying that sleep enables our bodies and minds to recover from fatigues and stresses, thereby giving them chances to recharge, maintain and repair. Also, sleep does wonders to our brains, as it enhances our ability to concentrate, focus, and improves our mental health. It complements our memory, and it could also lead us to positive mood.20130527-161634.jpg

Below are sleep’s 5 superpowers; and, they are the very reasons why you should really “sleep tight” and that “you shouldn’t let the bed bugs bite:”

SLEEP POWER NO.1: A good sleep makes us feel best!

When we don’t sleep well, we feel wasted when get up in the morning–a feeling of stickiness and unusual humidity exudes from our bodies, which makes us feel uneasy and irritable when we don’t get good sleep.

In addition, sleeplessness also makes us lazy and unproductive. Because once we are tired, chances are, we will end up up slouching all day and probably all over the place.

20130527-162609.jpgWhat is worse, according to science, is when we do not sleep well, we are actually harming our growth hormones. For those hormones are responsible for keeping us “looking good,” and it even delays aging. A heart surgeon, Mehmet C. Oz MD, coauthor of the YOU health books even added, that “the levels of growth hormones drop dramatically between the ages of 20 to 60.”

Dr. Oz stresses “It’s rejuvenating and when you have high levels of those hormones. For they can give you muscles, will definitely improve your skin, so you might want to keep your growth hormones as high as possible. And the best way to do it is to simply sleep.”

SLEEP POWER NO.2: A good sleep makes our brain healthier.

While sleeping our brains are utilizing important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of mentally healthy activities. Because only through deep sleep that our brain shuts downs and get relieved of controlling our emotions; decision-making analysis, and even social interactions. Thereby enabling us to maintain better emotional and social functions’ stabilities.

A good sleep likewise contributes a lot to our ability to concentrate; focus, and have good memory and optimist mood.

SLEEP POWER NO.3: A good sleep makes us worry-free.

Science also has proven that people with insomnia produce higher rates of stress hormones than the normal others, as it could lead our bodies into a hyper-aroused state that will make it difficult for them to wind dow.

Moreover, sleeplessness can even trigger depression and vice versa. “People who don’t sleep well, could easily get depressed and depression worsens insomnia, so it’s a vicious cycle,” says Dr. Oz. “The more and better we sleep, the more we feel happier and relieved,” he added.

SLEEP POWER NO.4: A good sleep makes us lose some pounds and be sexy.

As sleeplessness produces higher rate of stress hormones, stress triggers us to eat more and gain weight.

20130527-162852.jpgRecent studies are even further saying people who get inadequate sleep are more likely to gain more pounds. As “with sleep deprivation, we see a reduction in metabolism and an increase in appetite,” say Michael Breus, PHD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep. Inadequate sleep lowers the level of leptin (the hormone that can cause us to feel full), and it increases levels of ghrelin (which is the opposite of leptin, as it is the hormone that makes us feel hungry and craving at all times).20130527-161956.jpg

Breus further stresses that sleep deprivation also influences our food choices; it can make us crave for high carbs and high in sugar foods.

SLEEP POWER NO.5: A good sleep makes us healthy.

“Anything that disturbs the quality and quantity of sleep can have serious and long-term consequences to both our body and mind,” says Dr. Gerard T. Lombardo, director of the Sleep Disorder Center for the New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.

Sleeplessness triggers blood pressure to go up; while, rates and BPs are typically at their lowest during sleep. The association of hypertension to sleep duration is linked and proven by various research findings. It is even linking the latter to increased heart attacks, diabetes, obesity and some other health issues causing morbidity and too rampant these days.

“When people are deprived of sleep, there levels of stress hormones in our bodies will go up, and an increased inflammation might occur. Moreover, sleeplessness decreases our bodies ability to generate and utilize our immune functions,” explains Dr. Phyllis Zee, director for Center of Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University in Chicago. Furthermore, sleeping well could helps us fight illnesses, in fact, it could even make our flu shot work better. Plus, it is only through sleep that our major organs repair and recharge on their own.

Hence, from physical to psychological, sleep really does lots of wonders. The benefits extend way beyond just feeling good waking up in the morning; it just doesn’t perk us up and recharge our energies, but it actually recharges our whole system; from our brains, all the way to our immunity, it could do so much good to our bodies and minds.

Finally, beauty sleep isn’t just a myth. For it does lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as it makes our skins glow to perfection. And because we sleep well, our aura would be more radiant and glowing. In short, a total make over awaits you, once you improve your sleeping habits. Therefore, try to sleep more, and wake up for a whole new you!



Write Well; Keep Track of S

I have so much of these in my shelves. But these ones are my favorites.
I have so much of these in my shelves. But these ones are my favorites.

Writing is more than just a talent and a passion, for it is a skill that when we master, it could empower us professionally, and it could enrich us personally. And although there are news, or rumors, or both that our writing skills have gone bad in this Digital age, but given the fact that it’s a skill, I am positive that all of us can write. That the only question is; how well we write.

Regardless, there are “rules-of-thumb” that we, writers and aspirants could count on, and must adhere to ensure good writing. They are as follows:


Defined by Encarta as a “meaningful linguistic unit—a group of words or a single word that expresses a complete thought, feeling, or idea. It usually contains an explicit or implied subject and a predicate containing a finite verb,” and depending on the clauses, there are four types of sentences:

– Simple sentence contains a single independent clause.

– Compound sentence contains independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunction (e.g. and, for, but), or a conjunctive adverb (such as however, therefore, thus, hence), or a semicolon alone.

– Complex sentence contains a single dependent clause (headed by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun) joined to an independent clause,

– Compound complex sentence contains two independent clauses joined to one or more dependent clauses.

writers-blockWe must keep in mind that when a sentence doesn’t express a complete thought, we are not only hurting our writing, but chances are, we might get misunderstood.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-Verb agreement is one of the “holy commandments” of writing. It means that if the subject is singular, the verb must be singular as well (For example: Lisa is reading, or Lisa reads).


Structure is the “skeleton” or the framework of writing—for without a clear and organized structure, our paragraphs will not be in coherent with one another. What’s worse, our readers might end up wandering; meandering as to where our writing is going.


Style is the way we arrange our sentences in the most convincing ways. Style enables us to display our eloquence and intelligence in getting our messages across to our readers.


A single misspelled word could hurt our writing substantially. For a simple typo could turn off our readers. So make sure, you use spell checker or a pocket dictionary, along with a thesaurus each time you write.


Succinctness is about brevity, or clarity on how we “neatly” package our words into strong arguments. Ideally, the concept of “short, but sweet” applies in all genres of writing. However, in academics, as one furthers one’s degree, there are more numbers of words required in academic writing (the longest I had was twenty-five pages, in double space, excluding work cited for my business law class). But then again, in most cases, what is ideal indeed, is to deliver our messages in the most meaningful, yet shortest ways.


Simplicity is also in the “holy commandments” of written language. In fact, according to the great William Zinsser “Who can understand the clotted language?” He further stresses that with simplicity at scarce, we are nothing, but “a society of strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon.”

Sense of Humor

“Laughter is the best medicine,” says an old quote. However, we don’t have to take laughter so literally. More so, to ridicule anyone, or ourselves (and engage into self-deprecation) when we contemplate of adding humor to our writings. Nonetheless, it really won’t hurt to add a “dash” of fun, for most of us do appreciates sense of humor. In addition, sometimes, the best key in “winning” our audiences is to make them laugh (or smile at least).

Sound of Your Voice

Writing is a conversation. Which means, we should “speak” naturally when we write. For writing doesn’t have to be stiff and uptight for us, neither for our readers too.

Moreover, writing in the sound of our voices doesn’t only make our writing more authentic and distinctive, but through the sounds of our voices, we can write “with breeze” and ease. In addition, we should never copy anyone’s style, more so, anyone’s words. Although we must follow the same rules and mechanics, but we really must carry our respective characters each time we write.


Lastly, sincerity is the soul behind our manuscripts. For writing sincerely, is the most meaningful way to touch our readers’ lives.

Finally, writing is a skill that when we master, it’ll compensate us professionally and enrich us personally. So, write well, and keep track of all the “s” mentioned above.

Happy writing!


The Needed Regard


LIFE is one of the most powerful words connecting us all. Defined by Encarta as the existence in physical world—life, in its simplest term is the force and spirit behind our and all other living things’ existence.

Watching several documentary films and researching about the holocaust and Auschwitz led me to write this narrative–a sentiment as to why we, humans are creating our own destructions? There are countless of them, but the three worst, demonic kinds destructions of wars, illegal drugs, and genocides, are all man-made and caused by greed.

Such anthropogenic took not just hundred millions (maybe even billions) of lives, but also the hopes and dreams of their victims and even their faith. What was worse, perpetrators showed no remorse, and not the slightest of it.


Defined as a period of hostile relations between countries, states, or factions that leads to fighting between armed forces, especially in land, air, or sea battles, wars, as of press time, approximately reached a hundred-twenty-seven count by occurence. The worst of them all, is World War II (1939–1945)—as its death toll reached roughly seventy-eight millions of people from all over the world. (Wikipedia)


Another mean and deadly (and not to mention addicting) man-made destruction, is also known as ice, shabu and meth–methamphetamine is an illegal drug used as a stimulant.

It massively proliferated in several third world countries of Columbia, Mexico, even in Hongkong, Taiwan and in mainland China.

According to Jeannine Stein of Los Angeles Times, there are approximately“200 million people around the world” so hooked on illegal drugs every year. In third world countries, kids and women are even utilized as couriers and workers in “cooking labs” of triads and all other drug rings or syndicates.

Photo courtesy of Sanja Gjenero
Photo courtesy of Sanja Gjenero


Another notorious anthropogenic is genocide—the systematic killing of all the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group (Encarta). The worst genocide ever recorded is the holocaust. From 1941 to 1945, there are about seventeen millions of Jews and all others (from Germany, Poland, and all over Europe) died in the satanic reign of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi chain of command.

Personally, I can’t tell you enough how hard I cried reading and watching films about the sufferings of the victims and the cruelty of perpetrators. I still can’t believe such evil people existed in this world, as I really have zero tolerance for violence. What pierces and tears my heart the most, women and kids, and elders and people with disabilities were the defenseless victims of holocaust. For those are the type of people I work with at Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (every tax season).

Nowadays, atomic war is posing threats (North Korea is ridiculously contemplating). While genocides are reportedly still happening in many parts of the world like Cambodia, China, and the Middle East. And the continued massive proliferation of meth is unstoppable.

In this regard, maybe we can’t do anything drastic on our ends, to stop and completely eradicate such crimes against humanity. However, please be reminded that we are now empowered by the Internet–and we can all use this medium to voice out our stance and be vigilant in upholding and safeguarding life. And mind you, no voice is too little, when one speaks of truth, especially if it is for a cause.

Finally, life and love are the strongest “dots” connecting us all. For if we can just put love on everything we do, perhaps Michael Jackson’s dream to Heal the World isn’t too impossible to achieve. However, if it’s too hard for one to give love, at least, one should respect and value life—for by simply respecting and honoring our differences on our mentality, religions and beliefs, and even on our cultural values, we truly can make this world a better place. Besides, reality is, we are co-existing with one another, so we must work out those differences. Maybe not in the most compassionate ways, or all the time. However, nothing is impossible if there’s a will. Moreover, anything logical could be doable. After all, we are in this very civilized age, and civility nowadays, is simply, but a common sense.

PS (Something borrowed from Lyrics, Sentiments and Me):

Below is a video from my favorite musicians these days–the PianoGuys giving a very wonderful treat to the elderly–such an awesome treat to celebrate life!