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So, you want to excel in your job, or life in general, but feel tired all the time? Or perhaps, you find it hard to stay focused at work?
If your answer is yes, then there’s a high chance you’re overlooking the primary factor in getting your a-game going: having enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can lead to several health problems and impede your mental abilities for real. It is caused not only by slumbering for less than the recommended number of hours a day (seven to eight for adults) but also having poor sleep quality.
Dr. Ramon Cajucom, primary care physician of KonsultaMD, explained this during Nightol’s Facebook live session last March 28.
He said, “When we talk about sleep deprivation, you talk about the quantity and the quality of sleep. Kasi kung nakakatulog nga kayo ng seven to eight hours, pero ‘yung paggising niyo, hindi pa rin sarap na sarap or refreshed na refreshed, baka may problema tayo sa ating sleep.”
Underlying sleeping disorders are one of the causes of not getting peaceful z’s. This includes insomnia which, according to Cajucom, pertains to “difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night and then having difficulty falling asleep again.”
“Puwede rin namang waking up too early in the morning ‘tapos hindi ka na makatulog. Puwede rin namang tama ang tulog, pero unrefreshing ang feeling,” he added.
Sleep terror is another common disorder wherein a person suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night “na sumisigaw dahil parang may nightmare.” There’s also the jet lag disorder for travelers who have to adjust to two different time zones, as well as sleepwalking or getting up while still in a state of sleep.
More importantly, sleep deprivation is caused by poor sleep hygiene. “Yan yung habit natin for sleeping and this is affected by our lifestyle choices, our responsibilities,” Cajucom said.
These habits are defined by how early or late we sleep and wake up in the morning, based on our activities during the daytime.
Effects of sleep deprivation on the brain
Your body needs sleep and relaxation, just as your laptop or PC has to be shut down or rebooted to keep it from lagging.
According to Healthline, having enough sleep allows your body to recharge and restore its chemical balance. It also helps your brain in creating new thought connections and improving your memory.
How so? A Science report states that when you’re asleep, neural pathways or tracks are formed between cells, enabling your brain to replay, analyze, and store the lessons of the day.
Naturally, poor slumber tire out your brain and prevents it from creating these memory tracks or performing many of its duties accordingly.
Not only that, an exhausted brain would make it hard for you to focus on tasks, as well as absorb new information. You end up getting confused, especially when faced with matters that require thorough thinking.
This inability to focus and concentrate also affects your memory, sleep practitioner Dr. Allison Siebern said in an interview with WebMD. “If you’re not able to concentrate on what’s at hand, it’s not going to make it into your short-term memory and then long-term memory,” she said.
Sleep is also necessary for keeping your central nervous system (that’s your brain and your spinal cord) in top shape. As Healthline says, it is the main information highway of your body.
When you don’t get your much-needed rest, it experiences difficulty in sending and processing information throughout your body. Signals can be delayed and therefore decrease your body’s coordination.
Have you noticed how you tend to be cranky after sleeping in the wee hours of the morning? That is because sleep deprivation also has a strong connection with our mental and emotional states.
It causes anger, mood swings, and lessens your ability to cope with stress. If not treated, excessive sleeplessness can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and depression.
“Sleep and mood affect each other,” critical care medicine specialist Dr. Avelino Verceles told WebMD. “It’s not uncommon for people who don’t get enough sleep to be depressed or for people who are depressed to not sleep well enough.”
Improve your sleep hygiene
Busy may be the new happy for today’s go-getting generation, but that doesn’t mean you should keep sacrificing your bedtime for overtime work. Chances are, improving your sleep hygiene will greatly improve your abilities and help you snag your much-coveted promotion.
To get you started, Cajucom recommends these five easy steps:
- Set a schedule. “As much as possible, we want to have the same sleeping time and waking time,” he said. “Kung sa tingin niyo, 10 o’clock kayo matutulog, then subukan niyo na lagi kang 10 o’clock matutulog. It’s a habit. You have to form it and be consistent.”
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcoholic drinks. This may help you fall asleep, but it won’t give you a restful one. “The quality of your sleep will be bad. You might not be as well-rested,” said Cajucom.
- Avoid using electronic devices at bedtime. Apart from increasing alertness when you're supposed to be resting, the screen of your gadgets emit blue light that is harmful to your eye. It also restrains the production of melatonin — a hormone released by the brain, which tells your body when it's time to sleep and wake up or the "sleep-wake cycle."
- Make your room conducive to sleep. Cajucom recommends sleeping in a room with good ventilation or the aircon turned on “kasi masyadong mahirap matulog kapag sobrang init.” Turning off the lights will likewise help, as it will increase your melatonin.
- Take sleep-aid supplements such as Nightol. A natural supplement approved by the FDA, Nightol contains 3 mg of Melatonin and helps in regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle, especially for those suffering from jetlag or working the night shift.
Recommended intake is 1 to 2 capsules 45 minutes before bedtime, and should not be taken by individuals below 13 years old, who have kidney problems, epileptic patients, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding moms.
Start your journey to better rest and a livelier you by purchasing Nightol in drugstores or online via Shopee, Lazada, and Watson's Online. Follow Nightol’s Facebook page too for updates, promos, and more tips on improving your sleep.
Nightol also partnered with KonsultaMD of 917Ventures to provide free health plans with every Nightol blister pack that you buy on Shopee and Lazada. This gives you one month of unlimited access to licensed doctors (no appointment needed), e-prescriptions, e-lab requests, and e-medical certificates with doctor's discretion via KonsultaMD app
Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring, and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like Nightol.