Friday, May 31, 2024 | 04:49 WIB

Tips for a healthy Mudik without microsleep

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Jakarta, IO – Sleep is a basic human need, essential for overall body health. We spend 1/3 of our life asleep. Sleep disorders are a health problem with a multidisciplinary approach because they are related to lung and respiratory health. Sleep is also related to quality of life. In connection with the tradition of going home before Eid, especially for those who use land transportation, sleep disturbances will be very dangerous for drivers. 

“Sleep disorders can interfere with concentration and work, making travel risky. Research shows that microsleep increases the risk of accidents. Apart from microsleep, there are many other sleep disorders, including respiratory arrest or sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Overcoming sleep disorders can lead to a healthier and better quality of life,” said Prof. Dr. dr. Agus Dwi Susanto, General Chair of the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI), when opening a webinar commemorating World Sleep Day which was held at the end of last month. 

Then, what is a sleep disorder? 

“Sleep disorders are a group of syndromes characterized by disturbances in the amount, quality, timing of sleep, or in behaviour or physiological conditions related to sleep. Clinical data shows that 35-40% of adults experience sleep disorders. Shortterm sleep disturbances result in waking up feeling restless, lethargic, sleepy throughout the day, and suffering mood disorders. Meanwhile, long-term impacts can trigger chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke, overweight, obesity, psychiatric disorders, memory, and weakened immune system,” said Prof. dr. Ratnawati, Sp.P(K), Ph.D, from Persahabatan Hospital, Jakarta. 

dr. Alfian Nur Rosyid, Sp
dr. Alfian Nur Rosyid, Sp (Source: Unair)

According to the etiology, factors that can contribute to various types of sleep disorders are medical, psychological, lifestyle, genetic, hormonal, and age. “Older people generally have difficulty sleeping. Lifestyle includes habits before going to bed, for example consuming caffeine or alcohol, and inconsistent sleeping hours. Sleep habits are related to the circadian rhythm, the body’s biological clock that regulates wake-up and sleep times. The doctor will usually carry out an in-depth history to find the cause of the patient’s sleep disturbance,” she explained. 

Sleep Episodes 1-15 Seconds 

On the same occasion, dr. Alfian Nur Rosyid, Sp.P(K), PDPI Sleep Working Group, said that we must be aware of microsleep for our safety and comfortable journey. “When we go Mudik for Eid, we may have to go on a long or even continuous trip. Microsleep is a short sleep episode of 1-15 seconds. We do not realize that we had fallen asleep for a while. Eyes are open, but brain waves are slowed and response is reduced to external stimuli. The individual appears awake, but the brain goes off for a moment, resulting in cognitive disturbances and lack of awareness of surrounding conditions,” explained the pulmonologist from Pulmonology and Respiratory Airlangga University, Surabaya.

It was revealed that microsleep triggers lack of sleep, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or monotonous activities. “Microsleep can reduce productivity or performance and increase the likelihood of accidents while driving. Microsleep is directly proportional to the level of sleepiness. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that 16.5% of fatal traffic accidents are due to drowsy drivers; data from the National Academy of Science shows that the risk of accidents for night shift workers increases by 37.5%; while reports from the American Sleep Apnea Society show sleep apnea increases the risk of car traffic accidents 2-4 times higher.” 

Read: Uniting For A Glaucoma Free World

To anticipate and prevent microsleep, you should avoid driving when you are sleepy, get enough rest, chat with your traveling companions, listen to music, make sure your body keeps moving (do not stay still for too long), and consume vitamins or caffeine. Immediately pull over or rest in a rest area if you are sleepy, take turns driving, bring light snacks, and drive at normal times (avoid night). 

“It is also important to maintain sleep quality before going home, by getting enough sleep 7-8 hours per day, stopping eating too full 2 hours before bed, avoiding activities that trigger sleep deprivation, including drinking alcohol or coffee close to bedtime or using a smartphone/TV before bed. If you experience sleep disturbances, see a doctor,” he warned. (est)

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