Exercise is often described as the wonder-pill, laughter referred to as the best medicine but these two will struggle to make their impact felt if SLEEP is left out of the equation. These days many people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honour. We create the impression that the less you sleep the more “serious” or goal-oriented you are. Is this really the truth?
Ghana is in a debt-crisis and the whole world to a large extent finds itself in the same soup BUT beyond this crisis is a SLEEP DEBT that is already causing major challenges but its only the tip of the iceberg because if we do not halt and reverse this trend, we should expect a major explosion.
Good restful sleep has been described as “sleeping like a log” or “sleeping like a baby” but not all sleep is created equal. Sometimes when we sleep, we set a whole orchestra in motion as we snore in different decibels and octaves that will be the envy of many star singers. Unfortunately, after a snoring bout even though everyone within earshot of us will swear we have had a great sleep, we wake up feeling tired and still sleepy. Sometimes people tend to doze off during the day and some may result in accidents. Sleep Apnoea? The quality of sleep is by all standards extremely important.
Poor sleep quality or short duration of sleep can lead to many more things than one can imagine and it negatively impacts on every aspect of one’s life. Can you imagine developing hypertension and heart disease, strokes, depression, stress, body pains, obesity, diabetes, accidents, poor concentration and the list continues.
When you stay awake needlessly past “ungodly” hours you tend to snack as you “work”, watch a movie, listen to the news etc. Its not the snack that is often the problem but THE CHOICE of snacks. These snacks and the power of cortisol tend to wave a magic wand on our waistlines introducing conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Ever heard of the Twi expression “kom nndi nie w’ada”, which translates as when you are asleep you do not feel hungry.
Late night snacking leaves us with very few options and only vegetables appear to be safe. Remember to live though, that is what life is all about. These days I have realized that we can “snack on exercises” as well. So, when that unnecessary urge to eat at midnight comes up just walk for a few minutes. Has it occurred to you that if you have short bouts of walking lasting only two minutes at a time and you do this ten times during the day, you would have put in about twenty minutes of exercise and this definitely counts.
Sleep even impacts on our choices; poor sleep causes us to eat the wrong foods in quantity and content and even leads us to drink more of what we may need to avoid including alcohol and hard drugs.
Since sleep is so important, we need to share some hints that can improve our sleep quality and duration and we will refer to these as SLEEP HYGIENE STEPS.
Let us SNACK ON EXERCISE so that we can SLEEP LIKE A LOG.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise and he is the author of the award-winning book, ‘Unravelling The Essentials of Health & Wealth.’
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