The culture of getting good sleep gradually goes off our schedules as we advance in age. During childhood, one gets to have a siesta, and bedtime is always at 8 PM or even earlier. This sleeping routine is not the same for adults. Those pursuing a degree get to study at night. They burn the midnight oil, observing what is known as TDB (Till Daybreak). For others who are in the working class, irregular sleeping patterns result from bringing office work home to complete, gridlock issues, and some other family problems.
The situation is worse off in our cities, like Lagos, which has been rightly nicknamed ‘the City that never goes to sleep.’ The struggle to make ends meet and better one’s standard of living is what permeates the minds of many urban dwellers. Hence, the day starts so early and ends really late.
What is the medically recommended sleeping time?
One has to sleep for a specific number of hours every day. It is not okay to sleep too little or even sleep in excess. Medical experts prescribe 6-8 hours of night sleep. This is the average time range for a normal person to sleep if they want to be healthy and vibrant.
While many people know that insufficient sleep is disastrous, there are many who do not know that abundance of sleep is not good. Not that excessive sleep is bad in itself but it is usually a sign that a person has some underlying health issues. According experts, sleeping for more than 8 hours every night reveals that a person might be suffering from a medical condition which needs urgent attention.
Signs that you are getting less sleep and need to work on your Irregular sleeping patterns
Medics emphasize on the need to sleep well because irregular sleeping patterns which might seem harmless kills a person slowly. Research has it that not getting enough sleep or irregular sleeping patterns can lead to early death. But are there signs that you are not getting enough sleep? Sure! Here’s a quick list:
- Coarse and wrinkling skin: No one likes to see huge eyebags when they look in the mirror just before stepping every morning. But then adulting brings so many responsibilities which might require that a person works through the night to supplement their day jobs. The effect of sleeplessness on one’s skin is first seen in the puffy eyes and the once-glowing skin losing its glow.
- Forgetfulness and grumpiness: The body system works in such a way that memories are internalized while one is sleeping. When you are not getting enough sleep, you will be very forgetful. It will also be difficult for you to stay alert and concentrate on anything. Being that grumpy and forgetful will greatly affect one’s productivity and total output.
- Low libido: Have you suddenly become less interested in sex? Is your partner beginning to complain that you are scoring low points in the other room? This might be due to your irregular sleeping patterns. When a person is not getting enough sleep, they usually feel too weak and uninterested in sexual activity.
- Weight gain: Sleep regulates appetite and the longer you are staying up the easier it is to become hungry. I do not know one nightcrawler who does not do midnight snacking. Eating at such odd hours and having a less regulated appetite will result in weight gain or even obesity.