The lack of sleep is associated with several diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Several people do not understand the necessity of sleeping soundly as a prerequisite for better health.
Dr. Aflodis Kagaba of Health Development Initiative Rwanda (HDI), says that sleeping patterns vary in every individual.
“Age is one of the factors that dictate sleeping behavior. For instance children sleep for longer hours than adults. As people grow, their sleeping hours change,” Dr. Kagaba explains.
He says it’s healthy for a normal adult to sleep seven to eight hours daily.
“Sleeping longer hours helps to relax the body and this affects productivity and performance. The body is at rest when people are asleep.
With enough sleep, people are able to clearly think and work effectively,” says Dr. Kagaba.
Limited sleep has several disadvantages such as fatigue, depression, hallucination and constant headaches.
“There are individuals who need more hours of sleep, for example pregnant women need enough sleep because of body hormonal changes,” Dr. Kagaba adds.
Cliff Owour, Head Coach of APR Basketball Club says he always encourages his team to sleep not later 10:00 p.m.
“Prior to any game or tournament, I advise my players to get enough sleep so that their bodies and minds can relax,” Owour says.
However, Anitah Pendo a Radio Presenter on Contact FM has a different view on the subject. She says sleeping patterns are currently dictated by lifestyle.
“More people are working hard and sleeping fewer hours,” Pendo explains.
“People give up on sleeping longer hours so that they can work harder to keep a roof over their heads.”
“Sometimes one could even go to bed at around 9:00 p.m but fails to sleep probably because they didn’t seal a business deal during the day.
In other words, they are just in bed but their minds are at work,” she explains.
Tips for a good night’s sleep
• Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night.
• Make your bedroom more sleep friendly; for instance make sure your bed is comfortable and let the room be noise free.
• Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
• Stay away from big meals at night.
• Avoid alcohol before bed.
• Postpone worrying and brainstorming.