Lack of sleep can cause obesity
CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2016 - 10:00am

Dreaming of a good sleep? But who really gets the right amount of zzzzs every day? Experts can’t stress enough the fact that lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, or obesity. It can affect one’s health, weight, mood, and even sex life. Something that may cause men to lose sleep is the fact that poor sleep is associated with lower testosterone levels (read: impaired sex life).

Studies show that lack of sleep is associated with a rise in blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Deprive yourself of sleep and your leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) levels drop (and you start craving high-fat and high-calorie foods, and going through the nightmare of possibly gaining weight).  This certainly is a weighty enough reason to get a good shuteye.

Haven’t you noticed that when you get less sleep, you’re more likely to be cranky? On the other hand, if you sleep well, you wake up in a better mood and with a clearer mind.

More sleep, less stress

Sleep  more and you stress less. Lack of sleep causes high blood pressure (a risk factor for heart attack and stroke) and the production of stress hormones.

Getting enough sleep may reduce your risk for depression as sleep impacts many chemicals in the body, including serotonin. People lacking in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression (

Lack of sleep is also associated with a greater risk of injury or accidents. Of course, you’re aware of the fact that if you’re very tired and sleepy, you can get into any kind of accident. For instance, one in five car accidents in the US is caused by drowsy driving (

Sleep tip

Indeed, adequate sleep is a great part of a healthy lifestyle. It may even prevent cancer. Studies show that those who work the late shift have a higher risk of developing breast and colon cancer ( Exposure to night light reduces melatonin, the hormone that appears to protect against cancer as it suppresses the growth of tumors. Here’s a sleep tip from the experts: Be sure your bedroom is as dark as possible, and avoid using electronic gadgets before going to bed so your body can produce the melatonin that it needs.

Now, having said all that, this was one event that didn’t make guests fall asleep. Last March 18, the Philippine Society of Sleep Medicine (PSSM) joined hands with the rest of the world to celebrate World Sleep Day which zeroed in on the theme “Good Sleep Is a Reachable Dream.”

PSSM is just one of many organizations around the world that advocate (and educate people on) the importance of good sleep, which may be a luxury to many people, what with today’s fast-paced lifestyle and blinding-speed technology.

“As we progress and evolve, we slowly forget the value of sleep in our daily life,” says PSSM. “Together with technology and opportunities, we can turn night into day. Here we are, working on jobs that were not possible a decade ago. We have information at our fingertips at any time of the day. We are connected to the people of the world. As a result, we stay awake longer than what our body allows us to. Remember, we should spend a third of our life in sleep. We need this time to repair our body and spending less time in it will lead to many consequences. Problem is, sleep varies. From people who cannot sleep, there are those who sleep too much while others experience odd behaviours while asleep.”

Sleep matters

During the celebration of World Sleep Day 2016, the PSSM held its 10th annual symposium entitled “Sleep Matters: Discovering the Importance of Sleep” at the EMG Auditorium of the Lung Center of the Philippines. There were various workshops and lectures on many sleep-related concerns for adults — and even for children — that aroused the curiosity of symposium guests who were kept wide awake.

At the symposium, PSSM reiterated the important elements of good sleep: 1. duration or the sufficiency of sleep to become well rested and alert the following day; 2. continuity, which means sleep time should be continuous and unbroken; and 3. depth, which means that sleep should be deep enough to be restorative or invigorating.

Quality sleep, so PSSM emphasized, is very crucial to one’s good health and quality of life. It is important for people’s day-to-day functioning, in both adults’ and children’s overall wellness and development.

PSSM also handed down the 10 Commandments of Sleep Hygiene, according to the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM): 1. Thou shalt have a fixed bedtime and waking-up time with no daytime sleeping in excess of 45 minutes. 2. Thou shalt avoid excessive alcohol intake four hours before bedtime. 3. Thou shalt avoid smoking before bedtime. 4. Thou shalt avoid intake of caffeine such as those in coffee, tea, most sodas, and chocolate six hours before bedtime. 5. Thou shalt avoid heavy, spicy foods or sweets four hours before bedtime, but a light snack is acceptable. 6. Thou shalt exercise regularly but not before bedtime. 7. Thou shalt use comfortable bedding. 8. Thou shalt find comfortable temperature when sleeping in a well-ventilated room. 9. Thou shalt block out distracting noise. 10. Thou shalt use as less light as possible and limit the use of the bed to just sleeping.

RX: Sleep medicine

Now comes sleep medicine or this group of specialists trained in treating sleep disorders. The group is composed mainly of pulmonologists, neurologists, ENT (eyes, nose, throat) specialists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians who deal with the process of sleep. You may not know it or while you were probably sleeping, sleep medicine quietly arrived in the country in 1992. It is one of the youngest specialty fields in medicine around the world. It’s been around for more than two decades and yet, a lot of people and even doctors don’t know that such a specialty exists. Our ASEAN neighbors are just waking up to discover what sleep medicine is. In 2017, we’re playing host to the 4th ASEAN Sleep Medicine Congress. The event aims to foster research and collaboration among ASEAN neighbor countries which share similar cultures and habits in this part of the world. Sleep is universal but our cultures have some impact on our behavior towards it.

For World Sleep Day 2016, Multiflex RNC Philippines, Inc., makers of Uratex foam and mattress products, threw its wholehearted support behind PSSM to help promote good, healthful and restful sleep.

Various studies have shown that having an incorrect mattress may harm the body vis-a-vis providing the restful sleep it needs after a long, hard day at work.

“Uratex has always been humbly supporting efforts to promote good sleep, a much-needed bodily activity that unfortunately many people do not pay attention to or perhaps do not know how to achieve because of various reasons,” says Dindo Medina, Multiflex RNC Philippines corporate sales director. “Simply put, it all boils down to adapting to a more healthy and less-stressed lifestyle, a positive mindset towards life, and choosing the correct mattress depending on the body’s shape and contours, and this is where Uratex can help.”

As the country’s sleep specialist, Uratex, so Medina adds, will continue to help Filipinos achieve healthy and superior sleep by continuously developing and bringing innovative mattresses and other sleep solutions.

And so, to zzzzleep!

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For more information on the value of good sleep to one’s health, visit the PSSM website, To find out more about the Uratex mattress and other sleep solutions, call the Uratex Consumer Hotline at 888-6800 or visit

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