Humans spend one third of their lives sleeping – roughly equivalent to 33 percent in a lifetime or an average of 25 years. Since 2008, the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), through its World Sleep Day Committee, has been organizing a World Sleep Day that falls on the Friday of the second week of March to highlight and celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep. Likewise, the aim is to raise awareness on sleep disorders, sleep problems, its solutions, developments, and education on “sleep.” Society’s sleep problems are already considered a global epidemic, threatening as much as 45 percent of the world’s population.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society in the United States, adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis while young adults would benefit more if they have more than nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, as well as impaired immune function, impaired performance, increased errors, and greater risk of accidents and increased risk of death.
In the Philippines, the Philippine Society of Sleep Medicine (PSSM) led the World Sleep Day 2016 celebration under the theme “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream,” with support from Multiflex RNC Philippines, Inc., makers of Uratex foam and mattress products. With the aim to promote the benefits of sleep and to address underlying sleep problems for the Filipinos, the celebration also held its 10th annual symposium entitled “Sleep Matters: Discovering the Importance of Sleep” last March 17 to 19 at the EMG Auditorium of the Lung Center of the Philippines where workshops and lectures commenced.
In the Philippines, the practice of sleep medicine is still relatively young compared to other countries, which is why PSSM tries to fill the gap and promote the continued education and development on the science of sleep to address sleep disorders among Filipinos. The organization is composed of highly trained Pulmonologists, Neurologists, Ear, Nose and Throat specialists, Psychiatrists and Pediatricians.
“The best time to sleep is when your body needs to go to sleep,” says Dr. Tripat Singh, international sleep specialist from Singapore. “Listen to your body if it needs to sleep, then you should lie on your bed. Our bodies follow a biological mechanism that actually follows the sun. So, when the sun sets it sends a signal to you that the body will slow down and initiate the body mechanism that you need to sleep,” Dr. Singh adds.
According to Dr. Agnes T. Remulla, PSSM vice president, humans naturally prefer to sleep when the sun goes down. While the time of sunset varies and is different in many parts of the world, in the Philippines, we usually have more consistent sunset patterns. But due to some erratic work hours and the need for night shift or graveyard shift, more and more Filipinos survive by sleeping in the day and working at night. With the rate that the city life is going, many people disregard the value of good sleep. PSSM advocates the importance of a good night’s sleep and highlights the elements that comprise healthy sleep – duration, continuity, and depth. While adults and children’s need for sleep hours vary, continuous and unbroken sleep at night is of utmost importance as it helps you reach “deep sleep,” the time when your body restores and regains bodily functions and repairs any broken or impaired tissue.
During the event, PSSM also cited the 10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene as recommended by the World Association of Sleep Medicine:
1. Have a fixed bedtime and waking up time
2. No daytime sleeping in excess of 45 minutes
3. Avoid excessive alcohol intake or smoking four hours before bedtime
4. Avoid intake of caffeine such as those in coffee, tea, most sodas, including chocolate six hours before bedtime
5. Avoid heavy or spicy food or sweets four hours before bedtime. A light snack is acceptable
6. Exercise regularly but not before bedtime
7. Use comfortable bedding
8. Find comfortable temperature when sleeping inside a well-ventilated room
9. Block out distracting noise and use less light as much as possible
10. Limit the use of the bed to just sleeping
They say invest on a good bed because you spend most of your life there anyway – we sleep to recharge, rejuvenate, and to grow and repair our bodily organs and tissues. For its part, Uratex supports the PSSM through its own advocacies in promoting good sleep in the Philippines. Choosing the correct mattress is important for a restful sleep and this is where Uratex can help as the company continuously develops and brings forth innovative mattresses and other sleep solutions especially for the Filipino families.
By 2017, the Philippines will serve as host for the 4th ASEAN Sleep Medicine Congress, this collaborative meeting will help determine how the different cultures of other countries can impact their actions with regard to sleep concerns and likewise, the Philippines will be sharing vital knowledge of sleep based on our country's culture amd practices. – Karla Mae Manalo
For more information about the value of good sleep in promoting health, visit the PSSM website, thepssmi.org. To find out more about the Uratex mattress and other sleep solutions, call the Uratex Consumer Hotline, 888-6800 or visit www.uratex.com.ph.