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Weekly Digest #56


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-Cover Story-



The Need for Sleep: Don’t Underestimate It

By Agastya Rao



Disclaimer: The author of this article is not providing any medical advice through this article.


What is one common action that almost every single person on this planet does every day? The answer is - sleep. Sleep has become ingrained in our routines for so long that the human body cannot function without it.

You eat dinner, sleep, wake up, and repeat. But now because of working from home and online school, Netflix (and other streaming services,) our routines are going haywire. You will be carefree and stay up till midnight bingeing your favourite TV Show, while being completely oblivious to the havoc and mayhem it's causing inside you.


I am not against Binge Watching (Read my article, ‘To Binge or not to Binge’ in Weekly Digest #40). However, even staying up till midnight to study or finish work can have underlying problems in the future that many of us do not even notice. Let’s start by looking at how much sleep we need based on our respective ages. Infants need 12-14 hours of sleep, and teenagers need about 8-10 Hours of sleep (Which many of us aren’t getting these days for a variety of reasons, which I will get to later.)

Part 1- The need for Sleep and how it helps us


Sleep helps us relax, gives our body time to recuperate and grow. Sleep improves our quality of life.


It also prevents a variety of physical and mental health issues. Your blood circulates properly throughout your body during the time you are sleeping, and your DNA is repaired. It is also when information moves from short term memory to long term memory. Ergo, sleep helps you retain more information and improves your memory as a whole. (More on this later).


Technically, you can live without going to sleep for a few days (you can die in rare chances), but if you stay awake for too long, you may begin to hallucinate, lose focus and concentration and much more (As Randy Gardner did in 1965, where he stayed awake for 11 days).


What happens when you don’t sleep or are facing a sleep-deficit?


1.Chances of getting a stroke are much higher

2. Obesity

3. Inflammation

4. Poor concentration and Focus

5. Mental Health Issues

6. Increased chances of Diabetes and Heart Disease

Don’t worry, this article isn’t all that negative, there is some positivity coming up soon!

Part 2- Can you “catch up on your sleep”



The one thing we humans love saying as an excuse on a Friday night is that, “Oh, the weekend is coming. I'll just wake up late on Saturday and I’ll “Catch up on my sleep”. This is a ginormous misconception.


Firstly, sleeping for 5 hours on a Friday, and then sleeping for 7 hours the following day, won’t take your sleep deficiency away. It doesn’t work that way. In a way, it becomes a sort of a vicious cycle. You see, sleeping late, then waking up late will make you have to stay up late to catch up on the work you missed, which will make you sleep in late and… the cycle continues.

In fact, sleep deficiency or “debt” catches up to you. Even staying up half an hour later than your usual bedtime every day, will add up and catch up to you. You can’t really “Catch up on your sleep” but you can decrease its effects of fatigue etc.

The Solution-

Even if you have a sleep deficit, try not to cure it by sleeping in late. Instead, try to take short 20 minute naps around noon or so, which will make you feel refreshed as opposed to being lazy when you oversleep on weekends. We have got to remember that sleep deficiency will lead to fatigue, memory loss, heart problems, and even headaches at times. Last but not least, try to stick to a schedule of sleeping, and try to sleep 10-15 minutes before the time you have set to go to bed. This shall improve your quality of life and concentration as a whole.

Part 3- Some problems which lead to sleeping late

1.Cramming 1 day before an exam-



No matter what happens, when you cram late at night and try to stuff all the information into your head, chances are you won’t remember most of it the next day. You see, when you sleep for your required time, information you have learned is moved from short term to long term memory, so what you cram late at night won’t have time to be moved to your long term memory due to the lack of sleep. Instead, try preparing for the test beforehand, and sleeping on time to get your required hours of sleep. This will make you feel refreshed in the morning and you will remember stuff better the next day 😊.

2. Binge watching- Ahhhh my old friend, we meet again, Binge Watching. A thing that provides thrill, entertainment and adrenaline, but also leads to long term health issues. My solution, don’t binge watch every day or every weekend and try to limit it to once a month, or once in 2-3 weeks.

So try your best to stick to a sleep schedule, if you are genuinely unable to sleep for a long time please contact your doctor. Sleep on time, before the sleep catches up to you…





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By: Abhimanyu Rao


1.Two teenagers are in the finals of the US Open. Yes! You read this right! Two teenagers are in the FINALS of a GRAND SLAM!!!! 18 year old Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez,19, both unseeded players, are in the finals of the US Open, and to get there was no walk in the park. To reach the finals, they both had to fight some of the most dangerous players in all of tennis, including former world number one player Naomi Osaka! Proof that young people are very capable.


2.Not one, but two Indian teachers have been nominated for the prestigious Global Teacher Award! They are two out of only 50 teachers worldwide to be nominated for this. Apart from that, four students are competing for the chegg.org Student Award.


3.The fastest animals in the world are back in India! Cheetahs are going to be reintroduced in India to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. 10 Cheetahs are to be brought from Africa and re-introduced in India.


They were declared extinct way back in 1952. The budget for the project dubbed “Project Cheetah” has been given a round figure budget of around 1400 Lakhs. It's a good thing that they will be reintroduced, and hopefully we shall see more cheetahs all across India, as other states are also being observed and checked to see if they can also have some Cheetahs in their National Parks.


4.The cost of detecting cancer is quite expensive. One 18 year old is about to change that with her revolutionary invention. Nikhiya Sharma from Bengaluru has made a test that can check for Oral Cancer in 14 minutes, and costs less than 40 rupees! It has already been put into use for testing people. This game changing invention will not only cost less, but will also help make Cancer tests (at least for Oral Cancer so far) more accessible to people.



By: Mihir Rao


1.Recently, the Perseverance Rover did something incredible. It collected a rock sample!! Well, it wasn’t just any rock sample. It was the FIRST MARTIAN rock sample! This sample is one of 30 samples that will be returned to Earth in the future, to be studied. We can finally find out if life ever existed on Mars! The Perseverance Rover never fails to impress.


2.More Space News: Chandrayaan-2 completed a whopping 9000 orbits around the moon, providing promising results that are extremely encouraging. Even though it has already completed 9000 orbits, it still continues to be hard at work, giving ISRO key information about the Moon.


3.Natural disasters aren't great, and everybody knows that. With the technology we have today, we can predict them with accuracy and prepare better for them, but it turns out that our flying friends (i.e the birds) have an inbuilt system to know when disasters happen! It was observed that birds use Infrasound (which us humans cannot hear) to predict when storms and other disasters are about to happen! Things like lightning strikes, jet engines and even the earth produce infrasound.


4.The T-Rex is no longer the biggest bad guy in town. We all know that despite their infamous reputation, the T-Rexes weren’t the fiercest predators in the Mezozoic era, but recently, a jaw bone was discovered in Uzbekistan, that brings much more information. The ancestors of the Tyrannosaurus Rex lived in the shadow of the carcharodontosaurs, which literally means ‘Shark toothed lizards’! This just proves there is always a bigger fish.


5.Recently, scientists completed the first map of the world’s coral reefs, which mapped over 250,000 square kilometres! Scientists hope that this will help governments protect the endangered coral reefs by giving information of where action has to be taken.


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Brand new feature

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY!



This week began with a bittersweet anniversary. It was the birth anniversary of John Dalton, the chemist who introduced the atomic theory to chemistry, but also the anniversary of the funeral of Princess Diana.


Tuesday was a day that many sports lovers hold dear to their hearts. It was the anniversary of the famous network ESPN, which is an exclusively sports related channel!


On Wednesday, it was the birth anniversary of the famously brave monarch, KingRichard the Lionheart! It was also the anniversary of the famous Joan of Arc’s assault on Paris


Thursday was a very interesting day. It was the death anniversary of Mao Zedong, the father of Maoist Communism. However, it was also the anniversary of the day Queen Elizabeth II broke Queen Victoria’s record as the longest reigning British Monarch in history!


Friday marked the birthday of Jack Ma, the famous founder of Alibaba, and the anniversary of the first test of the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s strongest particle accelerator!


Saturday was the anniversary of the soul-crushing 9/11 attacks, which killed and injured several people. We begin a new week remembering 9/11 and hoping for a peaceful, equal world.

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From the Literary World

Book Review- Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Reviewed by Mihir Rao






Entertainment quotient for the week:


Disney

  • Dug Days

Netflix

  • The White Helmets (Documentary) 14+


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