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Better Sleep, Happier Life by Dr. Venkata Buddharaju

By 6:00 AM


Simple Natural Methods to Refresh Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

Sleep Disorders

Depression (Books)

Happiness Self-Help

Date Published: April 7, 2020

Publisher: Bublish, Incorporated

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"[An] incredible self-help book. Highly recommended!" Susan Keefe, The Columbia Review of Books and Film

“Dr. Buddharaju dissects the most complex sleep science into simple practical strategies that can be put to use by anyone!” — Murali Ankem, MD, MBA, Associate Dean School of Medicine at University of Louisville

Did you know that sleep is a key component for a happy life? Research shows us it is. But with all of today’s technology and stresses, many people are getting less sleep or experiencing poorer quality sleep. This can negatively impact mood, concentration, productivity, physical health and, yes, even happiness.

As a practicing physician for more than twenty years, Dr. Venkata Buddharaju (known as Dr. Buddha to his patients) has extensive experience treating patients with sleep problems. And the number of patients he is seeing with sleep disorders is on the rise.

In Better Sleep, Happier Life, Dr. Buddharaju teaches seven simple, practical, and natural methods to help you get better sleep in order to refresh your mind and body. Filled with wisdom from his years of experience as well as simple lifestyle changes, Better Sleep, Happier Life can help you find rest and refreshment in the midst of your busy life…and reap the benefits.



Stress and Sleep 

For the purpose of our discussions in this book, we will define stress as physical and emotional tension related to external or internal events. Stress can be acute or chronic. Acute stresses are short lived, our mind and body reacts, responds and adapts, and life

goes on. On the other hand, chronic stress results from ongoing stressful events that go on for a longer period of time and can aff ect our physical and mental health.

 Over millions of years of biological evolution, nature’s successful species have developed stress responses to cope with and adapt to their environment. The human nervous system is no exception. It has evolved in order to survive various threats. Before we began living together in cities, the biggest threat to our survival was from natural predators, like tigers and lions. You have to think fast if you want to outsmart a

tiger or lion. This is why one of our natural adaptations is called the flight-or-fight response—we have to decide quickly whether we are going to flee when danger strikes or stay and fight. Even today, with no predators threatening us, we still experience

our body’s flight-or-fight response when confronted with acute stress. Just as we did years ago when we faced the lions, our bodies release chemicals called epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These chemicals trigger glucose sugar production

for the quick burst of energy that our muscles need to run. Our heart beats faster to pump blood quickly into our muscles. Our brain is alerted by these chemicals to be more

attentive in order to escape the imminent danger. Our other organ systems slow down during these times of stress to keep our body’s energy focused on the threat at hand. In these moments, our body and mind prioritize survival—nothing else matters.

 The flight-or-fight response has been genetically programmed over millions of years, and it continues to evolve as we evolve. In theory, this stress response should last for a short period of time and should dissipate once the threat has passed. In today’s world, however, we often deal with chronic stress. This means our body stays in a sort of ongoing flight-or-fight mode and continues to release chemicals that it shouldn’t

release for long periods of time. The consequence of our body’s confused state can be high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, sleep difficulties, anxiety, depression, and more. Living in an ongoing flight-or-fight mode is bad for our health. Chronic stress must be addressed to avoid lasting side effects on the mind and body. Stress is part of life. We can’t avoid it. Yet, somehow, we delude ourselves. We go through different stages of life believing that the next stage will be better and less stressful. I hear

people say things like, “I will be happy...”“...once I complete this task...”or “...after I solve this problem...” or “...when I pass this exam....” In my experience, this notion of “no more stress” in the future is counterproductive. Solutions for one problem can bring new problems. As humans, we are never satisfied. We are constantly scanning for the next threat, the next potential difficulty. We worry and try to avoid these potential threats in order to live a peaceful life. In reality, it is impossible to avoid stressful situations in life. It is much better to learn coping mechanisms that can help us deal

with the inevitable stresses that life will throw our way. When we spend too much time worrying, called rumination,our sleep can be disturbed. Worry causes frequent

awakening, especially in the early morning hours. Poor quality sleep then results in daytime tiredness and irritability. It becomes a vicious, unhealthy cycle. Therefore, we

must learn coping strategies to combat stress and maintain balance in our lives.





 About the Author

Dr. Venkata Buddharaju (or Dr. Buddha, as his patients call him) is a fellowship-trained physician at the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He now teaches and consults at hospital intensive care units and pulmonary units as well as sleep medical practices. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and teaches medical students from UIC, Chicago Medical School and Internal Medicine resident trainees at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

He directs the Sleep Disorders Center and Clinic at Thorek Memorial Hospital in Chicago and serves as a Section Chief of Pulmonary & Critical Care at AMITA Health Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center Chicago where he teaches Internal Medicine and Family Practice Residents while working in ICU as an Intensivist. Additionally, he is president of the medical staff at Kindred Chicago Lakeshore and Central hospitals. Dr. Buddharaju has numerous medical-device patents and is working to develop more patient friendly medical devices. Throughout his career, he has conducted clinical research, published his work in various medical journals, and worked to develop and implement high quality patient-care policies. He believes strongly that balancing natural healing practices with traditional medicine is important for the future of effective health care.

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