Sleep

 Typically, having a bad day is believed to be related to the “sleep experience” of the previous night.

Many of us are probably familiar with the expression “…woke up from the wrong side of the bed”.

The last thing we wish ourselves daily is “goodnight” while every day begins with a chat about how the night was (most of the time concerning sleep in this part of the world). These show us how much we reckon with our sleep even in social interactions.

The last thing we wish ourselves daily is “goodnight” while every day begins with a chat about how the night was (most of the time concerning sleep in this part of the world). These show us how much we reckon with our sleep even in social interactions.

After an overnight restful sleep, the individual wakes up focused, calm and energetic. The body’s internal organs are in a stable state of readiness to take on the day’s challenge.

Without a good night’s sleep, the individual wakes up feeling weak, restless, irritable, edgy (sometimes angry) with poor concentration and memory problems. Some other persons complain of heat in their body or other unusual sensations.

One side of the gist is that mental illness could disrupt an individual’s sleep pattern. The other side is that disruptions in sleep characteristics could affect mental health and well being.

For instance, health professionals and other professionals who run shifts (night and morning) have to deliberately disrupt their normal sleep cycle due to the nature of their jobs. The usual thing is for the individual to be given time “off duty” to allow the body to reset its biological clock and also recuperate. Otherwise, there might be a body system failure.

A lot of professionals deny themselves of this much-needed rest. They simply spend their time off duty in the pursuit of other goals. This could have adverse effects on wellbeing. An individual who fails to have adequate restful sleep will eventually suffer ill health (mental and/or physical).

In the field of mental health, not getting enough sleep is a very common complaint. Feelings of not haven rested are also very frequent. Clinically, we try to distinguish between the quality and quantity of sleep.

Quantity is in terms of how long (duration) the sleep lasts while quality is described as how satisfying or refreshing the sleep has been in terms of how much rest the sleep has helped us to achieve. Health professionals will normally ask about both characteristics of sleep. We know that the quality or the quantity of sleep could differ across individuals due to differences in genes, age, sleep environment, diet, drug use, physical illness, mental illness, and lifestyle. Hence, we always bear these in mind when probing into the underlying cause of an individual’s sleep difficulty.

If you feel you aren’t getting enough sleep, speak to a health professional today.

Stay safe and sane; help others do the same!

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Ola Ibigbami

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22 Responses

  1. Very helpful sir… Good to know that mental illness could affect one’s sleeps and on the other hand, not sleeping well could affect one’s mental health. Thank you sir

  2. 1. Nice piece. How many hours of sleep does the body really needs. Both for adults and children
    2. How long can one sleep to be tagged ” too much” thanks.

    • Many thanks!
      Most people need between 5-8 hrs of sleep to be okay. Children need more sleep than adults. I recommend that we should allow children and adolescents to get not less than 6-8hrs of sleep “most days” of the week! Too much sleep is the sleep that disrupts your functioning. Most people will sleep as long as they are unrefreshed.

  3. Fantastic. Does it matter if a man gets the ideal sleep hours during the day? Like, get a 6 hr sleep during the day, and lay awake throughout the night. Can I have “too much” sleep? Any detriment to mental or any other form of health?

    • Thanks for this write-up on sleep. Please, what are the possible causes of sudden sleep disorder in adults and how to overcome it ?

    • Good morning sir.
      I am Dr Ayorinde, a resident psychiatrist.
      Like my chief said in the post, sleep could be characterized with respect to the quality or quantity.
      Of quantity, 6-9hrs sleep per day would do, however, body and mind finds it more refreshing at night than day, thus we encourage a night sleep for recuperation and better mental health, however, like Oga said, what of a security guard that work nights? Or a nurse in 7days night shift? Or me on a 72hrs call that may/could be bombarding and busy?
      The important things, as far as mental health professionals are concern is regulating the biological clock, which puts us in sleeping/relaxing mood at night and awake/active mood during the day. If it’s altered for a short while for a reason, we encourage that it’d be regulated in soon time.
      My chief (Dr Ibigbami) will do better justice to this sir.
      Thank you.

    • Many thanks, Sir for the question! The darkness at night is a part of the natural mechanism for regulating our biological clock, for sleep induction. Trying to get the ideal daily sleep during the day will be working against nature. If we sleep during the day, it shouldn’t be at the expense of night-time sleep for long. Otherwise, we risk losing all the benefits of sleep. The jet lag experience as a result of traveling between time zones is a pointer to what can go wrong when we disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle. Excessive sleep that interferes with functioning is definitely a health challenge.

  4. Thanks for this write-up on sleep. Please, what are the possible causes of sudden sleep disorder in adults and how to overcome it ?

    • Sleep disorders can be too little sleep (insomnia) or too much sleep (hypersomnia) or abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep(parasomnias). They can be due to physical or mental illness, hence the need to consult a health professional for further guidance or treatment depending on the level of competence of the professional.

  5. “Stay safe and sane; help others do the same!”
    I love this caption.
    Like I always say, the only thing an individual have for him)herself that is justified to be selfish with is the time you sleep, other time spent on whatever issues, benefit not only self but directly or indirectly others. Thus, whatever issues affecting any aspect of sleep should be jelously guarded.
    Thanks for the enlightenment sir.

    • Many thanks for your question Ma. The siesta is simply a daytime reset of the workings of our body. It is a daytime sleep mainly after lunch. It is no longer feasible as a result of our work schedule. However, short naps during the day have the same benefits. It is quite rewarding to take brief naps when this is possible even when we are at work, as long as these naps don’t throw us off our work schedule.

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