On Saturday, 20 February the ACT Region held a successful medical workshop on the topic of “Good Sleep, Good Health” for the Canberra Tamil Senior Citizens Association. The event was run by the Sai Medical Unit in Canberra and was attended by approximately 45 attendees from the Canberra Tamil Senior Citizens Association.
The medical workshop was organised in response to a high demand from the Canberra Tamils Senior Citizen members after a very successful medical workshop was held last year.
The presenters for the event were Dr. Sasi Selvadurai, a geriatrician by profession and Mrs. Bhavana Kaul who has a masters degree in Psychology. The event was facilitated by Mrs. Sujatha Venkataraman who is the Sai Medical Unit coordinator for the ACT Region.
The event started at 11:00 am with Mrs. Sujatha Venkataraman introducing the topic for the workshop and emphasising the crucial link between getting good quality sleep and good health. Dr. Sasi Selvadurai then spoke about the large volume of medical research that has been done in the area of sleep, and took the audience through topics such as sleep cycles and REM sleep. Dr. Selvadurai spoke about how obtaining good quality sleep allows the body to repair itself and ensures good brain health as well.
Mrs. Bhavana Kaul then took the audience through the second half of the program focussing on the practical aspects of how to ensure we get a good nights sleep. Mrs. Kaul encouraged the audience to share their experiences on what strategies they used to get a good nights sleep and the challenges they faced as well. Mrs. Kaul spoke about the importance of having a good routine prior to going to bed, avoiding spending time in front of computer, tv or mobile phone screens prior to going to bed, avoiding caffeine in the hours before bed, having a comfortable mattress, keeping your bed exclusively as a place for going to sleep and not doing work or watching tv from the bed and ensuring the bedroom is kept dark so that it is easier to fall a sleep. Mrs. Kaul also touched on the role that melatonin plays in helping one sleep, and how the body naturally gets ready to go to sleep during night time through producing more melatonin when it gets dark. Dr. Kaul ran some visualisations and meditations at the workshop that can help one fall asleep, with the most notable techniques being the “Brahmari Pranayam” and “4-7-8 Breath”.
Both Dr. Selvadurai and Mrs. Kaul then answered questions from the audience, who were highly engaged throughout the session, on the techniques to be able to ensure a good nights rest. From the responsiveness of the audience it was clear that this was a popular topic for the audience and one that all people can relate to.
The event then wrapped up with closing remarks from Mrs. Venkataraman and a vote of thanks by the Canberra Tamil Senior Citizen Association President who extended his sincere appreciation for the SSSIO for running this session.