5 Ways to Sleep Better Every Night
I once worked as a BPO agent. I worked the night shift for 3 grueling years. The first 5 months was hard on me. I had to schedule my sleeping and eating habit.
It was hard to force yourself to sleep during daylight where everyone is moving and doing things inside and outside the house. I get startled and wake up at the slightest sound made around me. It was a struggle sleeping during those time.
I was taking multivitamins and some supplements to induce me to sleep. That went on for 3 years and then my work shifted to morning and everything became normal again.
As much as possible, I make it appoint to sleep at least 7-8hrs a day to keep me up in the morning. If I have the time, I squeezed in some dozing time in the afternoon that is, if I dont have an event to attend to. A thirty minutes siesta is fine to energize and make me productive during the day.
Sleep is a very important part of our lifestyles. Did you know that an adult should be getting about seven to eight hours of sleep every day to properly recharge? Getting an appropriate amount of rest has a number of benefits including improved memory function, a stronger immune system, better concentration, and even weight loss. On the other hand, losing an hour of sleep from the recommended number of hours significantly reduces an individual’s ability to function at their maximum capacity.
Humans generally spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping. Moreover, it is an activity considered to be just as important as following a healthy diet and exercise. On the other hand, trivia shows that humans are also the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.
True enough, getting proper zzz’s is something most of us often take for granted. A shocking worldwide statistic has ranked the Philippines as the fifth country with the worst sleepers, with individuals getting an average of only six hours and 22 minutes of sleep. Sleep deprivation in the country affects about 50 million Filipinos, making the problem a national issue.
Regular loss of proper sleep can lead to circadian rhythm disorders. The circadian rhythm is a term that refers to a person’s internal body clock that regulates the 24-hour cycle of biological processes. It’s the body’s very own timer that triggers the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle. For adults, a dip in energy commonly occurs in the middle of the night and after lunch time. Noticeable big dips on this routine commonly means that an individual is sleep-deprived and is not getting enough rest.
Circadian rhythm disorders happen when there is a mismatch on the internal body clock due to the continuous disruption of sleep patterns. One of the most common disorder falling in this category is delayed sleep, which causes a person to feel tired at a later time than the usual. Individuals with this kind of disorder are the night owls, or those who feel more productive, alert, and creative late at night.
The opposite of this is advanced sleep phase disorder which is characterized by regular early bedtimes (6PM to 9PM), a habit that is very common among the elderly. In the Philippines, however, one very common sleep problem is shift work disorder caused by irregular sleeping patterns from night shifts. Common among business processing outsource (call center) employees, the disorder arises when the circadian rhythm cannot properly adjust to changing sleep patterns. Shift work disorder can often lead to problems like excessive sleepiness and insomnia.
But what makes a good sleep? According to the World Association of Sleep Medicine, there are a number of ways one can do to improve their sleeping patterns. The following are tips you can follow:
1. Refraining from using your bed for regular activities (e.g. eating, working, etc.)
2. Avoiding intake of caffeine six hours before bedtime.
3. Eating a light meal for dinner.
4. Limiting naps to not more than 45 minutes.
5. Creating a comfortable sleeping environment (using the right mattress and bedding, keeping the room dark and well-ventilated).
With sleep deprivation being a real concern in the country, several big names in the industry have jumped into action to help solve the problem. Among the leaders in the pack are The Philippine Society of Sleep Medicine (PSSM) comprised of physicians and sleep doctors, and the World Sleep Society, an association of sleep specialists focused on advancing sleep health worldwide by encouraging education and promoting sleep-focused research. Partnering with them is Uratex, The Sleep Specialist, the leading manufacturer of innovative sleep solutions. The company has been focused in creating quality sleep innovations like specialized mattresses and pillows that can help improve an individual’s rest.
These names have been proactive in furthering sleep education and awareness in the country. This month, they are coming together once more for World Sleep Day, an annual event that celebrates sleep importance and tackles issues like better sleep education. Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee, the event will be held on March 16 and will feature talks on better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
Sleep deprivation should be considered a major national issue that should be swiftly addressed. With proper education and the support of thought leaders and action takers in the industry, the country is taking a progressive step towards achieving proper zzz’s.