It seems monetary debt isn’t the only problem a lot of Pinoys have these days. According to a recent study from SleepCycle, the Philippines is among the top five worst countries which have the least average hours of sleep. Pinoys only get an average of 6 hours and 22 minutes way short of the required 8 hours of regular sleep for adults.
According to the data, not one country, out of the 48 that participated, manages an average of 8 hours of sleep a night. In fact, in Japan, the national average is 5 hours and 59 minutes, representing a drastically low sleep average for the country. The 5 worst countries for average hours of sleep, in order of worst sleepers, include:
- Japan = 5 hours and 59 minutes
- Saudi Arabia = 6 hours and 8 minutes
- Sweden = 6 hours and 10 minutes
- India = 6 hours and 20 minutes
- Philippines = 6 hours and 22 minute
The new data also showed that no country in the world manages to achieve 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. As the recommended range of sleep for an adult is 7-9 hours a night, this highlights a worrying lack of sleep throughout the world.
We all know that sleep is a very important part of our lifestyles and adults should get 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. 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.
So what should you do to get more Zzz’s and get rid of those eyebags? 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:
- Refraining from using your bed for regular activities (e.g. eating, working, etc.)
- Avoiding intake of caffeine six hours before bedtime.
- Eating a light meal for dinner.
- Limiting naps to not more than 45 minutes.
- 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.
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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.