Does Meditation Make You a Sad & Serious Loner?


Photo Credit - Kevin Clifford

Photo Credit – Kevin Clifford

Sad, certainly not as it uncovers the eternal bliss within, but meditation can make you a serious loner. People, as soon as they learn that you meditate regularly, expect you to be different from them. They expect you to be against all the pleasurable activities. They assume you to shy away from music, dance, and laughter. For them, you are a boring, soy milk drinking, vegan eating, religiously exercising, risk-avoiding no-fun person! And we start looking at ourselves the same way. This is where the problem starts. How can we avoid this?

Krsna, who described the technique and the benefits of meditation so succinctly in Gita, was a charming and fun-loving individual. He played flute hypnotizingly. He danced with gopis (young ladies) enthusiastically and frequently. Mischievous as a child, he was right in the center of political and social activities as an adult.

We should learn that too – mingle freely, laugh daily, sing loudly, dance deliriously, eat mindfully, drink blissfully, and love passionately.  

Meditation is Fun. Meditation is Bliss. Meditation is Life. Meditate Daily.

Sleep 7+ Hours to Live a Long, Healthy, & Happy Life


Consensus Statement (published in June 2015 issue) from American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends 7 or more hours of sleep every night.

1. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, and increased risk of death. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is also associated with impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, increased errors, and greater risk of accidents.
2. Sleeping more than 9 hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt, and individuals with illnesses. For others, it is uncertain whether sleeping more than 9 hours per night is associated with health risk.
3. People concerned they are sleeping too little or too much should consult their healthcare provider.

Sweet Dreams! God Bless!

– Yatin J. Patel

Meditate As You Work


Photo Credit Soni Metz

Photo Credit Soni Metz

I am not an early morning person, hence most days, I don’t have time to meditate before I leave for work. Daily lunch meetings make it difficult to carve out time for meditation. These are the days I meditate as I work and it has helped me greatly. You too can try it.

Take a slow deep breath as you silently say AUM. Notice the air going through the nostril. Pleasantly notice your entire body relaxing as you breathe out. Think of the Divine within as you repeat this several times every hour. If your work environment permits, you can close your eyes too.

Once you start doing this, you will notice that you do not get tired, exhausted, and cranky as the day goes on. Your interpersonal skills improve because of the empathy emanating from the Divine within. You connect easily. Doubts disappear. Problems turn into opportunities. Your confidence soars. You go home with energy instead of exhaustion.

As I practice this, I feel buoyant. My neck tightness is gone. I am solving the tough patient management problems efficiently and effortlessly. Perennial headaches from the insurance companies don’t bother me. I am able to deal with them effectively. I am laughing with my patients. I am cracking jokes with my colleagues. Life is great!

So, go ahead, Meditate as you work. Take a slow deep breath as you silently say AUM. You can say Jesus or Allah or any other name based on your preference. You may not say any word if you so choose. Just focus on your soft breath. I use AUM as it is the primordial sound that is the name and also the form of the ultimate reality. It wakes up the Divine stationed within all of us and in the Universe. It connects me to that inexhaustible wealth of energy, love, and bliss.

Peace. Love. Bliss.

Sleep Doc’s 5 Tips if You Feel Sleepy Despite Using CPAP


dreamstime_sleepy

Majority of my patients feel more alert and energetic when they start using CPAP, but a substantial number of patients do continue to feel “no different than before.” If you happen to fall in the later group, follow these tips and talk to us or your doctor.

1. Ask your spouse if you snore or stop breathing with the CPAP on especially in the early morning hours. This would mean that the CPAP setting need to be adjusted.

2. Make sure you are using CPAP at least 7 hours every night. Studies by Antic et all published in Sleep journal (Volume 34, Issue 01) have shown that CPAP use of more than 7 hours provides the greatest chance of curing excessive daytime sleepiness.

3. Check with your pharmacist and your doctor to see any of the medications you take for your medical conditions can contribute to your fatigue, tiredness, or excessive daytime sleepiness. Further, ask them if these medications can be taken in the evening or at bedtime.

4. Make you sure you are not depressed. When I ask my patients if they are depressed, I often get, “I already am taking anti-depressant medication.” I tell them it is still possible to have residual depression symptoms including fatigue, tiredness, and sleepiness.

5. If you continue to feel sleepy even after going through above checklist, talk to your doctor about Nuvigil, a stimulant medication.

I do stress to my patients that the CPAP use reduces the risks of stroke, heart attack, uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, and of drowsy driving death whether they feel better or not. CPAP in this regard is similar to cholesterol medication, which reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, but does not make you feel better. You still keep on taking cholesterol pill to maintain your health. Same way, you should keep on using CPAP every night for seven or more hours.

Best Wishes. Sleep Well, Live Well.

5 honest truths about mental health.


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