BY ROSE RUTH AKONGO
You probably have had one of those nights when you stare at the ceiling, or try to read a book to fall asleep, but all in vain. Insomnia (inability to sleep) is a condition where one fails to sleep even when one is supposed to rest the body.
Having sleepless nights is a common occurrence that is caused by various factors. One’s lifestyle can lead to insomnia. For instance, spending a lot of time watching television, or playing video games can lead to lack of sleep.
On the other hand, the lack of physical activity, can also lead to insomnia. Drug abuse can also be responsible for sleepless nights, because it affects the body systems and hinders it from functioning well.
According to Dr Robert Kajubi at Allan Galpin Health Centre insomnia is caused by many factors.
“Students who engage in excessive media use, for example watching a lot of movies all night, using social media late in the night, can experience lack of sleep,” he said.
“Taking coffee before going to bed can contribute to a sleepless night because of the caffeine, which will keep you awake,” Dr Kajubi said.
He added that depression or stress can also make one lose sleep.
The immediate effects of insomnia include body weakness, headaches and feeling drained during the day.
If one continues denying the body sleep, this can lead to less productivity because the body needs time to rest. Sister Imelda, a nurse at Allan Galpin, states that being anxious about certain things can also lead to lack of sleep.
“When a person is worried about something, it does not matter whether good or bad, they tend to lose sleep,” she said.
Taking heavy meals very late in the night can lead to a sleepless night.
It is, therefore, advisable to have your evening meal between 7:00 – 8:00pm such that the food is digested well before you go to bed.
People affected by insomnia need to seek professional advice, their issues can be discussed with the professional health care providers in order to help them find solutions.
They are also advised to try and keep themselves busy during the day and not to nap, so that they can sleep better at night.
Furthermore, to have better sleep, remove anything that can interrupt your sleep from the bedroom. For example a tick-tocking wall clock and a television set.