Everything you need to know to get a good night’s sleep as discussed in Pillow Talk: and Why Filipinos Need to Survive the Era of Sleeplessness.
According to the book, today’s teenagers are the most sleep deprived people in the world generation sleepless by Heather Turgeon. In a 2019 Philips Global Sleep Survey, 62 percent of adults worldwide feel they are not sleeping well, losing about one to two hours of rest a night.
In addition to our already fast-paced lifestyle, the challenges of the times like the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the like are some of the aspects that lead to sleep deprivation.
In the age of insomnia, Filipinos top the charts according to a study conducted this year by Sleep Cycle, where we rank fourth overall for people who need rest.
To remedy this, business community Bounce Back Philippines partnered with wellness company Wellspring Philippines to host a webinar titled “Pillow Talk: And Why Filipinos Need to Survive the Era of Sleeplessness.”
“Considering what we have at the moment [health crisis, war, economic recessions], Sleep has become a luxury. You have to earn it,” says Bianca Angeles, COO of Bounce Back Philippines, in her opening speech. In which New York Timessleep is considered “…the new status symbol and a measure of success, a skill to be cultivated and nurtured.”
The keynote speaker of the session was neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Debbie Bernardo, whose extensive sleep science portfolio includes completing a fellowship in sleep medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, as well as directing the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center and the Department of Neurology at the Institute of Neurosciences in the Philippines. She is also a valued member of leading organizations such as the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
dr Debbie shared her “Gospel for Better Sleep, Healthier Body and Mind” and shared key sleep insights with attendees of the online event.
“Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and workforce renewal,” read Dr. Debbie in her presentation, quoting American journalist and author Tony Schwartz, who wrote the book. The power of full commitment.
“Because Filipinos are unaware of the effects of insomnia, we don’t make it a priority in our daily routine to sleep seven hours a day,” says Dr. Debbie.
“You should make your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be clean. Minimize allergens. Provide adjustable lighting. Serene artwork and a soothing color palette help.”
“As we get older, we need fewer hours of sleep, but the minimum is still seven hours a night. School-age children and young people need nine to twelve hours a night. Chronic lack of sleep has consequences. We are more prone to depression and anxiety. Studies are now showing this [sleep deprivation] makes you susceptible to breast and prostate cancer.”
Other problems in the body caused by lack of sleep include immune system dysfunction, adverse effects on heart and blood pressure, and an increased tendency to gain weight.
The two sleep stages, non-REM (rapid eye movement) and REM, are also treated.
The latter is the time of dreaming when the body is paralyzed lest we act from sleep. REM, also known as active sleep or dream sleep, is the time when the brain sorts the information we’ve been given throughout the day. It is the rest and recovery that the body needs.
In 1998 the circadian rhythm was discovered. Scientists saw that proteins run in feedback loops in cells in almost all organisms. Physiological and behavioral patterns based on the circadian rhythm tell us that we should sleep at midnight and that the deepest sleep occurs between 2am and 4am when body temperature is at its lowest. Melatonin secretion begins when the sun goes down, triggered by the onset of darkness, and ends early in the morning at 8 a.m
A highlight of the presentation will be the topic of ‘sleep deprivation syndrome’, the shortened sleep below the normal baseline or amount of sleep required to maintain optimal performance on a regular basis.
One of the factors behind insufficient sleep these days is covidsomnia or insomnia caused by the fear of the coronavirus. If the sleep disorder lasts three months or longer, it is called chronic insomnia.
But what causes sleep deprivation? Humans are the only species that voluntarily delays sleep. No other animal could do this. Medical problems can also lead to lack of sleep. “There is no cure for insomnia. So how do we deal with that?” asks Dr. Debbie.
There are behavioral changes we could make to improve sleep. “You should make your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be clean. Minimize allergens. Provide adjustable lighting. Serene artwork and a soothing color palette help. Debbie also points out that the best environment for sleeping is extremely quiet with a cool temperature.
Avoid using gadgets at night. But if it’s unavoidable, use night mode and turn off the ambient lights. Stop using gadgets an hour before your suggested bedtime. “I always tell my patients to stick to a schedule. Set a regular wake-up time and get early morning sunlight. This synchronizes our brain with the circadian rhythm.”
dr Debbie emphasizes that there’s a waking time rather than a sleeping time because when you work hard at it, it becomes harder to fall asleep. Extending sleep in the morning is no longer restful or restful sleep, so better set an alarm clock.
If you fall asleep, you lose.Fragmented sleep is bad. Take naps only when necessary. The best time for a nap is after lunch, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., as this is when our circadian rhythm kicks in. Remember that naps interfere with evening sleep. If you want to sleep well at night, don’t sleep too late in the afternoon. The recommended sleep duration is 20 to 30 minutes. Waking up after this time leaves one feeling hangover or light-headed.
Watch what you eat and drink. It’s difficult to sleep when you’re hungry. But also avoid large meals two to three hours before bedtime. Foods or drinks to avoid hours before rest are coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, and fatty foods. Try not to drink coffee after 2 p.m., as caffeine blocks adenosine.
Try sleeping on your left side when you have acid reflux. Due to gravity, the shape of our stomach and the angle at which it joins the esophagus, sleeping on the left side can greatly reduce reflux. Minimize total fluid intake within two hours of bedtime.
Exercise is very important to improve sleep, especially aerobic exercise. Those who do this will be able to fall asleep faster. Gentle exercises are also helpful. However, you should not exercise two hours before bedtime.
stop smoking. Nicotine is a powerful stimulant. Nicotine withdrawal causes insomnia, so you may want to quit slowly rather than go cold turkey.
Take melatonin if you must. “During the pandemic, we were worried about the elderly family members and the babies, and we were also constantly thinking about our businesses, so we suffered from anxiety and insomnia,” says Casey Ching, COO of Wellspring Philippines. This prompted her and her health and wellness company to bring Wellspring’s melatonin gummies to the Philippines. It was Casey and her family who first used the product.
Casey saw the FDA-approved melatonin gum as the solution to sleep problems for “young adults suffering from anxiety, mothers and freelancers who have to afford the extra effort to make a living.”
The gummy bears, she remarked, weren’t sleeping pills, but a kind of tranquilizer. Melatonin is produced by the body and has now been developed and manufactured in vitamin form. It relieves fatigue and allows one to sleep naturally and deeply.
“A lot of people these days are choosing gummy bears because they’re easier to swallow and taste better,” Casey continues. Aside from melatonin, Wellspring gummies contain other ingredients with added benefits like vitamin B6 and passiflora extract.
Wellspring is the only brand on the market today to offer three variants of melatonin gummies, namely Melatonin Sleep Aid Gummies with passion fruit extract to relax and promote calm before bedtime, Wellspring Nighttime with collagen and hyaluronic acid for better sleep and glowing skin. and Extra Snooze Extra Strength Melatonin with L-Theanine and Lemon Balm Gummy Candy for an extra dose of relaxation for an extra good night’s sleep.
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