Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why aren’t you sleeping when you should?

It is almost the end of November but there are still students sitting for examinations, examinations such as the ‘O’ and’ ‘A’ levels as well as the varsity examinations.

It is normal to burn the midnight oil for some students. When I was in my schooling days, there were many of my classmates who burnt the midnight oil, staying awake the night before the examination just to ‘mug’.

I was not someone who practised burning the midnight oil as firstly, I was always well-prepared for examinations, having a good revision schedule which will see me revising what was need to be revised at the latest, half a day before the date of the examination.

The other more important reason for not burning the midnight oil was my belief that not sleeping when one should, one’s health would be harmed. I know it is a small matter to most people burning the midnight oil as it is just for one or a few nights till the exams are over. But all the more, exams are such important occasions that one body’s should be at its peak to perform at its very best.

I have not slept for some nights in the past, due to doing some shift work, in the army days (and the following day, in a ‘daze’) and for some other occasions. I just find that the next day, I am acting sub-normally and I need even more sleeping hours the coming few days just to make up for the sleeping hours which I have missed.

Night shift workers work night shifts and forsake sleep for their work. These night shift workers include security guards, factory operators and other professional who either need to keep an installation running at night or to work with clients living in the West such as the United States, which is on day when Singapore is on night. These personnel may catch some sleep during their work, but of what quality is such sleep? Worse if the night shift personnel work night shifts for most or all days of the weeks.

Ever heard of the ‘Circadian Rhythms’? These are biological rhythms of our body, which is attuned to the day, and night activities that most people are observing.

Do not miss the golden period 12 am to 2am, for this is the period when the body repairs itself including the liver and kidneys. Not sleeping during this golden hours will make one more vulnerable to illnesses.

For more information on the effects of shift work on one’s health, please read this lengthy dissertation.


chrome3d said...

The golden hours is a new term for me, sounds rational. Sleeping rhythym is important and it can get messed up quite easily.

Singapore Short Stories said...

Ya, it can be messed up easily cos many people are busy these days!

marasme said...

what sec sch and JC were you from?

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