Oftentimes, many think that sleep is a natural thing to humans, that as soon as the head hits the pillow, then off he or she goes into the blissful world of unconsciousness. While this is so for most people, for many others, it is not quite so, it is even a nightmare to a few others.
Though, they naturally desire it, they are unable to get sleep. It eludes them, night after night, almost all nights; they are awake with their eyes wide open, not responding to nature’s call to the dream world of peaceful rest.
The sleep issue can be thus bad, that sleeplessness or insomnia as it is called medically is not only on the upsurge, but truly exacting heavy toll on its victims. According to neurologists, an estimated 63million Nigerians, representing over one-third of the country’s population, may be suffering from varied sleep problems. No doubt, sleep disorder was a global epidemic which affects about 25percent of adult population around the world. Truly, a staggering 63million Nigerians are among the 25 percent of the entire global adult population who find themselves in the unpleasant state of sleep deprivation, without any iota of doubt or worrying signal. And there is no telling what the conditions have on the individual’s health, both mental and physical, beside the enormous socioeconomic cost to both those affected and the society.
Indeed, lack of or insufficient sleep, according to neurologists, could also lead to heart failure, decreased workplace performance and learning deficiency among scholars and other ailments.
So, since sleep is crucial to the proper functioning of the human body and the overall wellness of man, we must do all we can to ensure that we get enough of it. In fact, researches have shown that one of the three pillars of good health is good sleep. The others are good diet and good exercising. A good sleep has the advantage of refreshing one and making one to be alert in carrying out a day’s job or work in a satisfactory manner.
Other studies have “linked human wellness to quality sleep and that good sleep also helps the brain development, boost the immune system and improves the ability to learn and perform variety of tasks”. Beside these, sleep also restores and rejuvenates the body, as well as helps to conserve energy.
Increasingly, however, the Nigerian environment is not conducive to a sound night rest, including the luxury of making an afternoon nap. All around one are uncontrolled noises, most of which are clearly unwarranted. In some other areas, blaring sounds from large musical amplifiers, particularly from night clubs and recreational gardens, hotels and brothels, worship centres, markets, etc promote noise everywhere in our towns and cities. And, it is a 24-hour bedlam in many cases, as no place, it seems, is noise-free. It is as if the world is one huge boiling pot of a noise machine.
This is very sad indeed, and catastrophic to the wellness of the people. True, there are other factors inducing sleeplessness, such as psychological and emotional stresses, poor environmental sanitation around neighbourhoods, illnesses and some other medical conditions. Still, those constant noises in the towns and cities contributed to a large extent on the sleep problem and a reminder of how difficult the tasks of tackling sleep deprivation.
Maybe, this is the time to have legislation in place to limit those loud noises in our neighbourhoods and other public places just like the ban on tobacco smoking in public places.
Thus, a fitful night sleep ought to be enjoined by all after a full day’s work, to replenish lost energy, refresh the body and make one ready for another day’s work. So, to give optimum and enjoyable quality life, all obstacles that stand in the way of sleep must be eliminated.
Therefore, to deny anyone the right, especially under avoidable circumstances, like those needless and unwarranted noises, is to take away an integral part of our wellbeing.
Society has a duty to ensure this does not happen, or at least reduces it to the barest minimum, so that we can have that needful night trip into the blissful world of unconsciousness, uninterrupted.