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Go to sleep

Published by The Nation on Sun, 24 Mar 2019

Honestly, I am not joking, but it rained in my city for some minutes yesterday and I did not hear a single drop fall, and that in the morning too! I was that sound asleep. When I was told, I sat up on my bed, sad. How could I not have heard the rain fall' Obviously, if a large-sized meteorite were to fall to earth and land on my bed during that time, I would not have heard a thing. What kind of Size 10 consciousness impairment took hold of me that I did not hear the rain fall, especially as I like to hear the rain fall' I then decided to go search the literatures for help. Was I going downhill, you know, like slipping off the edge of reasonable wakefulness without knowing it and calling it sleep'Not so, say the books. Even though science admits that the science of sleep is still foggy (say that againthats why people dont hear when rains fall), it is vital for the body, yet many are not getting it. Those are the great sleep-deprived.Sleep is so important in the body, there is even a World Sleep Day now, and that is the third Friday of March. No one has told me exactly what action the day stands for though, but I am guessing there should be only one thing on the agenda, sleep. Naturally. However, the website on World Sleep Day says that the 2019 theme is Healthy sleep, Healthy ageing. I think this means sleeping well promotes graceful ageing and the wrinkles show less. It also means if you dont sleep well, dont expect to age gracefully.Not so, say the books, again. If you dont sleep well, it simply means you are prone to some sleep problem or the other. Not being a scientist, Im afraid I cannot name the sleep disorders. All I know is that if you can hear the rain fall in the night when you should be sleeping and not hearing the rain fall, then please consult your doctor, and thats hoping he himself has not been hearing the rain fall. If he has, then I suggest you both consult another doctor who hopefully has notyou get the drift. Who would believe the kind of problems caused by rain falls'! This is called playing it by the thumb.Anyway, I am trying hard to imagine why on earth a topic such as sleep should draw the attention of world scientists. Actually, the celebration of this day is due to the efforts of medical doctors who are concerned about the health implications of sleep, not sleeping beauts like me who just want to hear the rain fall. The scientists are simply drawing attention to the problems that come from not getting good sleep.Well, lets start here. It is said that man and womankind spends a third of his/her life slumbering. Essentially, this means we are supposed to spend a third of each day sleeping. Like someone said, if we are supposed to spend eight hours working, and another eight sleeping, then what happens to the remaining eight hours' Hows that for disappearing acts' Well, the remaining eight hours are supposed to be for play but who remembers that' The thing is that some of us spend more than the eight hours working or sleeping and we shave off the rest from play. I know someone who works sixteen hours and shares the remaining eight between play and sleep. Guess who gets the lion share. Let him who is not guilty raise up his/her hands.The truth is, many of us spend more hours working than is good for the body. How then can the benefits of good sleep come' I think that the benefits of sleep will come if we meet the most rudimentary requirement, which is to sleep in the first place. Someone who cheats sleep cannot expect to gain from sleep.Everyone knows when they are not getting enough sleep. Someone once said when he gets very hungry, his sentences begin to fight each other. So also, when someone gets very sleep-deprived, his sentence constructions no longer have bearing with the discussion at hand. That effect however is mild. There are direr consequences such as road vehicular accidents. Sadly, I know many people who have lost their lives this way.Equally as devastating are the deaths that occur when machines are operated under the influence of sleep problems. There was one video clip sent round the social media, by insensitive people, of a man operating a machine but on which he had sadly fallen asleep. Reader, I will not disturb your sensibilities on what the machine did to him or did not do, but suffice it to say thatThat was the result of the fogs of sleep descending at the wrong time because the sleep was not entertained at the right time.Of course there can be many causes of sleep problems. Science is however fingering your good old coffee, your irregular sleeping habits, the stress you accumulate from your job, spouse, children, friends, neighbours, news media and from wondering just when the world will come to an end.In fact, they say, the body regenerates itself during sleep. Some science facts even say that the period of sleep enables the cleaning of the DNA stables of all the horse-shit that accumulates during the waking hours. That probably explains why all the nonsenses I hear in a day do not leave any disturbing marks on my DNA by the next day. Makes sense.More importantly, good regular sleep can be good for heart balance. Now, I have no idea what that means but Im thinking that the old ticker will stay good and regular at all times. Even when your teenager tells you he wrecked your new car while parking it, your heart will stay steady, wont flip over in your chest and will not constrict in the arteries and shoot pains down your arms. At all.So, there you have it. Im sure theres a host more of such benefits that doctors are keeping under their hat. They can also tell you about the sleep dangers to run from. Whichever, it is important that we all listen to science right now. Science is telling us that healthy sleep is beneficial to healthy ageing.Ageing healthily depends on many things, I am told. If I can talk like a non-scientist, I would say there is the good food factor, the peaceful existence factor, the genetics factor and of course, the right friends, relatives and good family factor. Yep, theres nothing like a devilish family to make one year seem like a decade. So, sleeping is vital to our health.Apart from maintaining the general health balance of the body, sleep helps to maintain brain health. A good sleep pattern, they say, cleans out the brain better than Omo. Thats why those who appreciate it do all they can to get it, like gold, and rue the night they cant go to sleep.As we celebrate the World Sleep Day, I recommend that you stop worrying about when the world will end. Its not in your hands, its not in my hands, its in the makers hands. Seriously now, Trump and Kim Jong-un are the only ones I worry about in my spare moments. They are the only ones who can make me stay up by accident to hear the rain falling. As long as Ive got my eye on them, though, theyll be no trouble. Now, shh, time to go to sleep!
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