15 March 2013

                                                DON'T WAKE ME UP
Do you remember that kid in class? The one we always roll up a piece of paper and fix in one side of his mouth--forcing him to mimic a smoker--as he dozes and nods from left to right;still smoking. . .till the teacher rescues him by screaming; ''John!! What are you doing?'', Then we all burst into laughter, leaving poor john to get himself together(haha). Well, its not just John, we've all been caught napping at one time or the other. And statistics show that a good percentage of the 167million people in Nigeria have sleeping disorders or bad sleeping habits.

The theme for this year's world sleep day is; ''Good sleep, Healthy ageing'' and from the World Association of Sleep medcine studies have shown that people who dont sleep well, are subject to an accelerated mental decline--and this is equivalent to seven years of ageing[translation-when you dont sleep well,you add seven years to your life. Hahaha]

Lack of sleep also causes;poor memory, slower reaction times, anxiety,depression,and even ultimately death!! Yeah, death!! And sleep disorders are often taken lightly. Because people feel they are not as deadly as AIDS or malaria, but trust me. About 60% of road accidents occur due to drivers falling asleep on the steering. So the following are some sleep disorders and poor sleeping habits. I like to call it the Sleep rule book;

**Narcolepsy--this is excessive daytime sleep. And except you're working a night shift, its not right to sleep more than 45minutes during the day. And dont sleep after 3pm--whatever you do after 3pm is not called siesta,its more like a disease.
**Parasomnia--waking up tired with headaches, and you have trouble concentrating; as you doze off at odd times. This is often caused by accumulated lack of sleep. Every human beign needs between six to eight hours of sleep daily, for proper body metabolism and functioning. I wonder if people in Lagos sleep up to three hours at all, as traffic jams start by 5am--and this is the same scenario in other congested cities. Also avoid eating 4 hours before bedtime, avoid alcohol consumption 4 hours before bedtime, and learn to establish a regular bedtime and wakingtime

**Sleep Apnae--characterised by Loud snoring,arrested breathing and gurgling. Sleep apnae is really deadly, as these disturbances cut off oxygen from the brain, and wake you up often. Makesure the room you sleep is well ventilated, block out all noise and turn off the lights--because these two signals(light and sound) prevent the brain from ''shutting down''. Futhermore darkness is also needed because it helps to stimulate the secretion of Melatonin; which induces sleep.

Clear your mind of every worry before you go to bed--forget about the day's job or what you'd wear tommorow, forget about everything and just sleep-- your body needs it. And when you discover you cant sleep, dont pop pills that are not prescribed--thats drug abuse. If insomnia persists after two weeks, go and see a doctor. Finally, please act on these things you've just read, dont sleep on them--i didnt just tell you a bed time story. Its real, sleep disorders kill :)

#Wikina Ebenezar--6 paragraphs for UN[World Sleep Day]
**Most of the information is courtesy;World Association for Sleep Medcine[WASM]

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