Students prepare for their Board exams. Sonu Mehta/HT photo
Question: Ever since I started studying, I have been consuming more junk food all through the day as a result of which, my stomach has been very upset. I also feel very sleepy. Can you suggest a remedy? - Sanya Peer
Dear Sanya: Consuming these foods loaded with fats can often make you feel sleepy.
Question: I’m a student of class 12. I have lost almost four kg over the last few months. I don’t feel like eating anything because it makes me feel nauseated and I find it difficult to study. I just have juice and biscuits throughout the day. But I have begun to feel very weak. Can you suggest an alternative? - Mohit Mehra
Dear Mohit: Too much of stress and anxiety results in increase in gastric acid secretion and causes nausea and lack of appetite. Fruit juices are acidic and may cause erosion of stomach lining if not taken with proper meals and may result in abdominal pain and nausea, causing weight loss.
Try the following health tips:
- Have light but wholesome meals consisting of green leafy vegetables (that are properly washed), fruits and whole cereals. Curd or cold lassi are beneficial.
- Keep your meals small and increase the frequency i.e. every two to three hourly
- Have fresh fruits and brown bread sandwich (instead of biscuits) as snack
- You can take some antacids (Gelusil/Digene) two tea spoons three to four times a day.
If nausea continues, get your liver function tests done and contact your physician.
Question: As the time for the exams has been drawing closer, I find myself unable to concentrate. I also tend to forget what I study. I’m feeling very nervous now because I feel like I have not done enough. What do I do? - Natasha Kumar
Dear Natasha: Achieving high concentration is necessary to have better understanding and grasp of the subject.
You can also try following changes in diet, schedule and exercise to improve your focus:
- Regularise your activities. Form a regular schedule of your activities. For instance, a fixed time to get up and going to bed.
- Foods high in omega 3 essential fatty acids are considered “booster foods for brain” and are recommended for better concentration. Food that are rich in it are fish (grilled, baked) almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds.
- Have sips of fluids with adequate minerals (nimbu paani/ jaljeera) throughout the day.
- Too much of salt/sugar/oil in the diet should be avoided.
- Give yourself regular breaks, short burst of physical activities every two hours (on the spot jogging etc) are helpful.
- Exercise regularly—it stimulates brain function and improves oxygen-rich blood supply to the brain which will enables the brain to function better. It will also reduce stress levels.
- Take at least six to seven hours of sleep at night and a 15 to 20 minutes of power nap in the day.
- Avoid extremes of atmospheric temperature.
- Make sure you get minimum of 15 minutes of exposure in the sun to get enough vitamin D.
- If you are still unable to concentrate, ask your physician if you are low on vitamins (Vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D) or minerals (Sodium, Potassium, Calcium).
Question: I can’t wake up early in the morning because of which I tend to waste a lot of crucial study time. I also feel very tired most of the time. The exams are very close and I don’t know what to do. - Karan Khanna
Dear Karan: It is usually suggested that you maintain a regular schedule of getting up early and going off to bed in time.
If you want to get up early, then you can follow these tips:
- Form a regular schedule of getting up, and going to bed and make sure that you stick to it.
- Have an early dinner
- Sleep early, 10 pm to 12 pm appears to be a decent time to sleep in order to get up early.
- Avoid heavy meals, especially late at night.
- Have less of fried/fatty foods. Rather prefer fruits and salads as your snacks.
- Follow the tips on nutrition and exercise as indicated above.