With regards to your story Lack of sleep exacerbating obesity rates among children, study reveals (December 16), good sleep is highly important for our physical and mental health.
While we rest, our body gets rid of toxins, repairs injury and reduces stress. Staying up late interferes with our natural sleep pattern and hinders all the processes essential for the natural repair of body and brain.
A bad sleep pattern can lead to many disorders. Staying up until late, waking early on workdays and sleeping in late on days off might not be as restful as we think.
The best healthy pattern for us was designed by nature. When we disturb it with unhealthy habits, our risk for diabetes and heart disease rises.
People with large differences in their sleep schedules on workdays and free days tend to have worse cholesterol and insulin levels, a larger waist size and a higher body mass index.
Interference with natural sleep rhythms also increases the risk of heart attack, breast cancer, depression, obesity and diabetes.
Not getting enough sleep at night prevents the body from strengthening the immune system and producing more cytokines to fight infection.
This means a person can take more time to recover from sickness. There is a direct link between unhealthy sleep patterns and our mental and physical health, known as “social jetlag”.
When the brain is deprived of sleep, it is difficult to concentrate.
Care should be taken to prevent sleep deprivation in individuals of all ages. Children and young adults are most vulnerable to the negative effects.
Dr Faisal Khan, Al Dar Hospital Madina Munawara, Saudi Arabia
When will the Kashmir conflict finally end?
I write with reference to your report Seven dead as Indian police fire on Kashmir protesters (December 16). This was a terrible story to read.
It stated that militants had staged an operation that morning, attacking Indian police and that police had retaliated. Three militants and seven civilians were killed, and dozens more were injured.
This incident is truly tragic. In recent weeks, Kashmir has witnessed many clashes between police and militants
This just a small chapter in a longer story of conflict that has played out in Kashmir for decades. We must ask ourselves when it will finally come to an end.
K Ragavan, Bengaluru
Praise for the unsung heroes of the UAE: cats
I write in reference to your article New pet abandonment law only solves 'part of the problem' (December 17): I like having an abundance of cats around the city. It makes the city feel friendly and alive.
Name withheld by request
Steps should be taken to make veterinary care more affordable. Then those among us who are cat-friendly can take the animals to be treated when they are clearly not well. This would be far better than having sick animals roaming the streets.
Estee Coetsee, South Africa