HOW  MUCH  SLEEP  DO  YOU  NEED?

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 (STAR) For people who have active lives and careers, sleep is a mere distraction to more important tasks at hand. For them, spending more time in slumber means more opportunities and more tasks missed.

Your typical, career-minded adult gets five hours of sleep, but the amount of sleep a person needs really depends on several factors, including age.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the US, infants need around 16 hours of sleep a day, compared to teenagers who need nine hours. Meanwhile, pregnant women in their first trimester often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

“The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a ‘sleep debt,’ which is much like being overdrawn at a bank,” say the studies from NINDS.

“Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired,” they add.

Getting enough sleep is needed to improve a person’s health and well-being. However, not everyone gets the benefits of a good night’s sleep. It is not uncommon for Filipinos to suffer from various sleeping problems.

Short-term insomnia, for instance, affects people undergoing stress, jet lag, and diet problems. The most common “victims” of short-term insomnia are call center agents who frequently shift their office schedules.

For people suffering from extreme cases of sleep deprivation due to sleep disorders like insomnia, sleeping pills are prescribed. However, most of these sleep-inducing soporific drugs can lead to drug dependence and other adverse effects after long-term use. Thus, it’s best to opt for sleeping supplements.

Most of these natural sleep enhancers work by regulating the body’s melatonin, a hormone that is naturally produced in the pineal gland — an endocrine gland located at the base of the brain. This hormone is produced, mainly at night, to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Studies suggest that melatonin helps hasten sleep and ease jet lag without the hazards or side effects of prescription pills. Other studies suggest that melatonin may have immune or antioxidant functions.

One of the most recommended natural sleep enhancer is Sleepwell Melatonin 3mg, a non-drug and all-natural food supplement that mimics the natural hormone that is produced by the body, thus regulating the natural body clock and enhancing the quality of sleep.

Doctors recommend one to two capsules an hour before bedtime. Locally available in all Mercury drugstores, CQ WOW, and other leading drugstores, Sleepwell has been known to effectively promote good quality sleep, relieve insomnia and other sleep problems, and combat jet lag. It also works as a powerful antioxidant.

RELEVANT  REPORT:

Science and Technology The science of sleep (The Philippine Star) Updated August 27, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Due to the global economic upheaval, local companies have become more competitive when it comes to the services and products that they offer. This rings true especially to those from the business process outsourcing industry.

As a result, more has been expected from employees. After all, bigger output and better quality can always lure in more clients and customers.

With higher demands and heavier job-related pressures, sleep becomes less of a priority. Some even develop sleep disorders due to stress brought about by work.

After all, why sleep when you can spend the waking hours producing more work or at least thinking of ways to improve work?

In reality though, work eventually suffers with lack of sleep. According to psychologist and sleep expert David Dinges, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of medicine, a sleep-deprived person is unable to multi-task and has an impaired memory.

Studies have proven that sleep is responsible in storing new information in the memory through a process called memory consolidation. Further studies showed that sleep-deprived people have bigger tendency to fail in newly learned tasks.

Dinges added that some of the initial adverse effects of sleep deprivation can also contribute to a non-conducive workplace. People who slept less are prone to irritability, moodiness, lack of inhibition, and later on apathy, slowed speech, and flattened emotional responses.

“As a person gets to the point of falling asleep, he or she will fall into micro sleeps (five to 10 seconds) that cause lapses in attention, nod off while doing an activity like driving or reading, and then finally experience hypnagogic hallucinations, the beginning of REM sleep,” Dinges elaborated in the book “Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance.”

Productivity in the workplace is not the only thing affected with lack of sleep.

According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain as it affects the way the body processes and stores carbohydrates, altering hormonal levels that affect the appetite.

For extreme cases of sleep deprivation, people affected are more prone to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. And since lack of sleep alters the immune system, people affected are more vulnerable to various diseases.

These only emphasize how a good night’s sleep is essential in a person’s health and well-being.

Most natural sleep enhancers work by regulating the body’s melatonin, a hormone that is naturally produced in the pineal gland — an endocrine gland located at the base of the brain. This hormone is produced, mainly at night, to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Studies suggest that melatonin helps hasten sleep and ease jet lag without the hazards or side effects of prescription pills. Other studies suggest that melatonin may have immune or antioxidant functions.

One of the most recommended natural sleep enhancer is Sleepwell Melatonin 3mg, a non-drug and all-natural food supplement that mimics the natural hormone that is produced by the body, thus regulating the natural body clock and enhancing the quality of sleep.

Doctors recommend one to two capsules an hour before bedtime. Locally available in all Mercury, CQ WOW and other leading drugstores, Sleepwell has been known to effectively promote good quality sleep, relieve insomnia and other sleep problems, and combat jet lag. It also works as a powerful antioxidant.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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