Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Kim and Trump are moulded from the same human clay

Our readers have their say on summits, sleep and WhatsApp

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore last year. KCNA / EPA
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore last year. KCNA / EPA

I write in reference to Rashmee Roshan Lall’s opinion piece A second Trump-Kim summit will only be worthwhile if it produces more than a Kodak moment (January 23): Anything is possible between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, as both men appear to be moulded from the same human clay. Emotional egoism along with a one-track policy mind are the qualities they share. So while that is a scary combination, we should be cautiously optimistic.

Name withheld by request

Poor sleep has real physical and psychological effects

I refer to your article Why brains are top of the agenda at Davos this year (January 23). A bad sleep pattern weakens the ability of the part of the brain that handles reasoning, known as the prefrontal cortex, to control the emotional part, the amygdale. This leads to the abnormal processing of emotions. Good sleep is essential; when the brain is deprived of sleep, it is difficult for us to concentrate and form new memories. When we stay awake till late night or significantly cut sleep, the body does not release the hormones necessary to regulate growth and appetite, and instead of positive hormones our body produces an excess of stress chemicals. Unhealthy sleep patterns and sleep deprivation are therefore predictors of weight gain in adults and children. These changes result in increased risks for obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart attacks.

Bad sleep pattern can also have a profound impact on normal thinking abilities in healthy individuals, resulting in reduced tendency to think positively, bad moods, a decreased enthusiasm to solve problems, a greater tendency towards superstitious, illogical thinking, intolerance and less empathy towards others and poor impulse control. The people with unusual or unhealthy sleep patterns are more likely to report increased feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, powerlessness and poor job performance, as well as more conflict with co-workers, and ultimately a reduced quality of life. Finally, individuals with disturbed sleep pattern score higher on clinical scales measuring depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Dr Faisal Khan, Saudi Arabia

Finally WhatsApp is tackling deadly Indian fake news

I write in reference to your article WhatsApp limits message forwarding to curb rumour spreading (January 22). This was an interesting piece and good to read. After so many lynchings and mob killing across India due to rumours and fake news spread on WhatsApp, the messaging service has now restricted its users from forwarding messages to less than 20 individuals. The mass forwarding of messages was how the fake news so quickly spread and this measure is an important one. I hope that many causalities caused by the spread of misinformation by people new to the technology can now be curtailed. This is a good move from WhatsApp.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Updated: January 23, 2019 06:57 PM