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Find it difficult to concentrate at work/study? Feel like the eyes are always drooping? Yawn a lot?
Let’s find out why!
If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, if you wake up during the night more than once, or if it takes you longer than 20 minutes to drift back asleep after waking up, you’re considered having a poor quality of sleep.
Sleep quality is the measurement of how well you’re sleeping, in other words, whether your sleep is restful and restorative. Here’s how you can improve your sleep quality by improving your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene tips include:
Obey your body clock
Limit your daytime naps
Improve your sleeping environment (dark and quiet)
Limit screen time prior to bedtime
Steer off food that can disturb your sleep
A very common medical condition causing excessive daytime sleepiness is obstructive sleep apnea, commonly associated with obesity. It feels like something is blocking, in the upper airway when you’re sleeping, hence your chest muscles and diaphragm have to work harder to open the airway and pull air into the lungs, eventually having a very shallow breath, or even stop breathing briefly.
The other medical conditions include:
Restless legs syndrome
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
Talk to a doctor if you are currently experiencing such symptoms.
Caffeine usually lengthens sleep latency (time taken for you to go from fully awake to sleeping), decreased total sleep time and sleep efficacy as well as worsen sleep quality. Not getting enough sleep the night before leads you to consume another cup of coffee on the next morning, and one more cup, and another, hence it all goes back to the cycle of poor sleep.
Here are some other common reasons why you’re always sleepy:
Poor dietary choices
Try cutting back coffee to see whether there is any improvement on your quality of sleep.
Chronic stress may lead to stress-related exhaustion disorder, which one might be experiencing impaired cognitive performance in terms of working memory, attention, domains of executive function and processing speed. Hence the mental and physical fatigue.
Do some activities that can help relax your mind such as meditating, yoga, going for a walk, or seek for medical help if needed.
People with iron deficiency anemia or B12 deficiency often experience fatigue, however it will be resolved once the vitamins are restored.
You might want to have your levels tested if you are having unexplained fatigue.
Understand the importance of sleep so that we can value our sleep and sleep quality. Sleep insufficiency may affect your work-life/student-life and overall being, and when it progresses to chronic sleep deprivation, some serious potential health problems like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack or diabetes may be arise.
Taking good care of yourself starts from having a good quality sleep. Get rid of the poor sleeping habits today! Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble maintaining good sleeping habits.
Medically reviewed by Ashwini Nair, MB BCh BAO.
1. Slowik JM, Collen JF. Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed March 3, 2022. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459252/
2. O’Callaghan F, Muurlink O, Reid N. Effects of caffeine on sleep quality and daytime functioning. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2018;11:263-271. doi:10.2147/RMHP.S156404
3. Warner MJ, Kamran MT. Iron Deficiency Anemia. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed March 3, 2022. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448065/
4. Gana W, De Luca A, Debacq C, et al. Analysis of the Impact of Selected Vitamins Deficiencies on the Risk of Disability in Older People. Nutrients. 2021;13(9):3163. doi:10.3390/nu13093163
5. Slater G, Steier J. Excessive daytime sleepiness in sleep disorders. J Thorac Dis. 2012;4(6):608-616. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.10.07
6. What Is Sleep Quality? National Sleep Foundation. Published October 28, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2022. https://www.thensf.org/what-is-sleep-quality/
7. Gavelin HM, Neely AS, Dunås T, Eskilsson T, Järvholm LS, Boraxbekk CJ. Mental fatigue in stress-related exhaustion disorder: Structural brain correlates, clinical characteristics and relations with cognitive functioning. NeuroImage Clin. 2020;27:102337. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102337
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