Sleep DeprivationFeeling sleepy and tired when it's just 9 o’clock in the morning? Maybe, it's because you sleep insufficiently or sleep-deprived. The question now is, “Why do we sleep and how much of it do we need? Well, here's a fact… Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. Most adults require between seven and nine hours of nightly sleep. Children and teenagers need substantially more sleep, particularly if they are younger than five years of age. Work schedules, day-to-day stressors, a disruptive bedroom environment, and medical conditions can all prevent us from receiving enough sleep. A healthy diet and positive lifestyle habits can help ensure an adequate amount of sleep each night – but for some, chronic lack of sleep may be the first sign of a sleep disorder. According to the 2016 Healthy Living Index Survey, Filipinos have one of the highest rates of sleep deprivation in Asia; 46% of Filipinos do not get enough sleep while 32% said they sleep for less than six hours.

Sleep deprivation is a general term to describe a state caused by inadequate quantity or quality of sleep, including voluntary or involuntary sleeplessness and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. A sleepy fatigued person is accident prone, judgment impaired and more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions. Staying awake for 24 hours leads to reduced hand-to-eye coordination that is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1. This makes sleep deprivation contributory to road accidents and work injuries.

Lack of sleep can also affect a child’s school performance and could be linked to an increased risk of emotional problems such as depression. There are many reasons why a person may not get enough sleep and this include shift work, meeting deadlines, a sleeping environment that is noisy or not the right temperature, use of electronic devices close to bedtime or keeping them in the bedroom, medical problems, such as depression, sleep apnea, or chronic pain and caring for another person during the night.

Making small changes to your daily routine can help you get the right sleep you need. Change what you do during the day. Try to spend some time outdoors every day. Plan your physical activity for earlier in the day, not right before you go to bed. Stay away from caffeine (including coffee, tea, and soda) late in the day. If you have trouble sleeping at night, limit daytime naps to 20 minutes or less. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation (less than 1 drink in a day for women and less than 2 drinks in a day for men) — alcohol can keep you from sleeping well. Don’t eat a big meal close to bedtime. If you smoke, make a plan to quit — the nicotine in cigarettes can make it harder for you to sleep.

Sleep is as important to the human body as food and water. So, give more time to sleeping because it can prolong your life more. Do not sleep-deprive yourself! Take a small step in improving your sleeping habits because small steps still count as progress which can greatly contribute to future success. Start it now!

-NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan



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