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Melatonin helps improve the quality of one’s sleep and life

While the Philippines is becoming a home of the largest call center industry in the world, more and more Filipinos are suffering from stress, physical pains, and sleep deprivation brought about by working at night. If not properly addressed, this can produce decreased alertness, low performance, increased risk of performance lapses, thereby resulting in greater safety hazards among night workers and other sleep-deprived individuals.

This is according to Dr. John David Castillo, a primary care physician at a multi-specialty clinic in Quezon City where a number of BPO offices are located. Dr. Castillo often meets patients who present with various sleep symptoms, which could have resulted from night shifts at work, irregular sleeping times, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

“Approximately four out of 10 patients I encounter on a daily basis have problems with sleep,” said Dr. Castillo.

Dr. Castillo said that sleep disruption is a symptom that may be associated with a wide range of medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, menopause, hyperthyroidism, reflux disease, cardiac ischemia, chronic kidney failure, liver failure, lung disease, among others. At times, it can also coincide with mental and neurologic disorders. It can also be an acute effect brought about by a change in the sleeping environment, or related to a significant life event like a change of occupation, loss of a loved one, illness, or anxiety over a deadline or examination.

Moreover, disturbed sleep can also result from consumption of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and certain drugs. Sometimes, it can also be due to the misalignment of the circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle as seen in jet lag and shift-work disorders.

In as much as Dr. Castillo believes that vitamins and other dietary supplements have their notable benefits, he said that our nutritional needs should be met primarily through our diet. He further advised patients to avoid noise or light in the bedroom as it can interfere with sleep.

Certain drugs, large meals, caffeinated drinks, vigorous exercise, or hot showers just before sleep should also be avoided as they can also interfere with sleep onset.

“Follow a regular sleep schedule. Avoid stressful activities before bed, and prepare and reserve the bedroom environment for sleeping. Remember to smile, pray and look forward to better days and restful nights ahead. But of course, if symptoms persist, consult your doctor,” advises Dr. Castillo.

Importance of melatonin

Dr. Castillo, however, cited that some research suggests that melatonin supplements might be helpful in treating jetlag or reducing time it takes to fall asleep. Dr. Castillo explained that the hormone melatonin produced in the brain helps control one’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night.

“Exogenous melatonin (supplements) has been studied to increase sleepiness and increase sleep duration when administered to healthy adults attempting to sleep during daylight hours, at a time when endogenous melatonin levels are low. They are also believed to improve the quality of one’s sleep.”

Sleepwell, which contains Melatonin, is an effective remedy for insomnia/sleep disturbance. It can aid shift workers by inducing sleep, acts as powerful antioxidant, helps individuals under stress, improves quality of life and prognosis of cancer patients with its anti-cancer effects and helps improve tolerability to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and helps reduce anxiety and pain/scores for patients undergoing surgery.

Available in Mercury Drug and leading drug stores nationwide, Sleepwell is recommended as a natural sleep enhancer to be taken at a dose of one to two capsules one hour before sleeping.

Published at Travel Plus 2013

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