Halal Digest Header MARCH 2004
ISSN 1533-3361
In This Issue
Food News Sleep

Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam. bed

As we start the New Hijra Year, we wish everyone a peaceful and successful year ahead. bed

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Bird flu in the US causes Mexico and the EU to ban American poultry imports An outbreak of bird flu in the United States has led Mexico and the European Union to stop all poultry imports from the United States. Asia has been reeling from a more pathogenic form of bird flu that has also killed 22 people. US officials say the infection is not likely to spread to humans in the United States. (Reported on www.yahoo.com on February 24, 2004.)
UK processed food producers will continue to reduce salt in their products. The UK food industry is reducing salt in processed foods. Salt levels in sliced bread had already been reduced 25% in 2003 and more reductions are planned this year. Salt will also be reduced in processed meats, potato crisps and confectionary products. (Reported on www.just-food.com on February 26, 2004.)
Oxygen free radicals may not be responsible for illnesses as previously thought. A team of UK scientists is questioning the affect of oxygen free radicals on disease development. Many medicines are designed to prevent the formation of these free radicals. The team suggests looking at regulating the enzymes released from neutrophil leukocytes. (Reported on www.nutraingredients.com on February 26, 2004.)
Milk with higher melatonin content may help insomniacs get to sleep. Night Time Milk is being marketed by Cricketer Farm, a UK dairy, as containing higher levels of melatonin. It is hoped it will combat insomnia and help consumers sleep better. It is produced from selected dairy herds. (Reported on www.nutraingredients.com on February 18, 2004.)
Ireland to review the current policy on energy drinks. Ireland will review their policy on energy drinks. This comes after the European Court of Justice upheld the French ban on Red Bull, which is also banned in Sweden and Denmark. Energy drinks are nearly a $3 billion a year market in the EU. (Reported on www.nutraingredients.com on February 26, 2004.)bed

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Sleep is necessary for the body to function properly Sleep is necessary for the body to function properly. Sleep is just as important to good health as diet and exercise. During sleep, the body secretes hormones that affect the mood, energy, memory and concentration. Not sleeping enough reduces these secretions. Tests have shown that the performance of sleep-deprived people in hand-eye coordination tests is similar to intoxicated people. Getting behind the wheel of a car while sleep-deprived is a dangerous proposition.

It might surprise you to learn that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from a sleeping disorder. Sleep disorder may be caused by lifestyle habits or by physical or other factors.

The body clock wants the body to be awake during the day and asleep during the night. Working the night shift or staying up late goes against the normal function of the body clock. This contributes to sleep deprivation.

In obstructive sleep apnea, the breathing stops for 10-60 seconds during sleep, causing the person to wake up as they try to breath. This may happen a hundred or more times a night, causing a person to feel sleepy during the day.

Most people have trouble sleeping at one time or another. However, if the difficulty continues most nights for a few weeks or longer, one may have chronic insomnia and should seek professional attention. Insomnia is more common in females, people with a history of depression and people over 60 years old. Stresses, certain medications, jet lag, drinking alcohol and eating too close to bedtime are some causes of temporary insomnia.

Sleep deprivation can cause poor coordination, just as being intoxicated While the amount of sleep required by each person varies, most adults need 8 hours of sleep a night. School age children need 9-12 hours of sleep a night. If you can get through the day without feeling drowsy, you are probably getting enough sleep. However, if you think you are sleeping long enough and are still drowsy during the day, it may be wise to consult with your physician.

Snoring is noisy breathing that occurs when the relaxed structures in the throat vibrate. Most snoring is harmless and can be stopped by changing sleeping positions or by changes in lifestyle (losing weight, reducing smoking and alcohol consumption). Snoring may also be caused by allergies, enlarged adenoids or sleep apnea.

Some suggestions for better sleep are:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol (best to be avoided always), and nicotine 4-6 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid exercise 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid large meals 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid taking naps after 3 pm (Prophet Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam, discouraged sleeping after 'Asr, the afternoon prayer.)
There are 5 stages to sleep:
  1. Light sleep, easily awakened, slow eye movement and slow muscle activity
  2. No eye movement, slower brain waves with occasional bursts of rapid waves
  3. Deep sleep, very slow brain waves (delta waves) with some smaller faster waves
  4. Deep sleep, very slow brain waves, no eye movements
  5. REM sleep, more rapid breathing, rapid eye movement
The cycle normally takes about 2 hours and repeats. REM sleep usually occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep.


(This information was extracted from the US FDA website at www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/602_sleep.html.) bed

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