Prof Frank Imarhiagbe, a Consultant Neurologist, has advised Nigerians going through sleepless nights to seek medical care instead of resorting to sleeping pills.
Imarhiagbe, a consultant at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Benin.
The consultant, who spoke on the occasion of the 2023 World Sleep Day, said that taking drugs like Valium and Lexotan were not a remedy for sleeplessness.
He said, “‘If you can’t sleep, something must be underlining. Going to take pills to sleep is not the answer to your problem.
“if you can’t sleep for a night or two, consult a doctor to help you find out the cause of the sleeplessness.
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“Find the cause, don’t resort to Valium, Lexotan; you are postponing the evil day and compounding the problem”, he said.
The Neurologist said that there were different causes of lack of sleep, which include disturbed mind, drug abuse, medical condition, psychiatric illness, abusing sleeping pills and genetic condition.
According to him, sleep is the brain-controlled natural unconsciousness that is timed and fixed.
“Sleep is not optional, it is a basic requirement to maintain life. It is usually regulated to the night time according to the body’s biological clock.
“When the sun begins to set, some chemicals are released to the brain that tells the body that it is time to sleep; when you are at sleep the body rearranges itself for the next day”.
He advised people who do night shifts to always make up for the sleep loss by sleeping during the day, noting that sleep is essential for healthy living.
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Imarhiagbe also recommended good sleep hygiene, including keeping television set and reading tables away from the bedroom.
“The bedroom should be made comfortable for sleeping; avoid too bright lights, put cell phones off the bed and have a good sleeping position”.
NAN reports that World Sleep Day is an annual event that is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox (The Spring Vernal Equinox occurs on March 20th or 21st of every year) with the 2023 celebration falling on March 17.
The theme for the 2023 World Sleep Day is “Sleep is Essential for health”.
The day aims to reduce the burden of sleep disorders on society by promoting better prevention and management.