A consultant Physician at the National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria, Dr. Adegbaju Adebowale, has urged Nigerians to ensure they get adequate sleep daily to lower risk of depression.
He warned that lack of sleep and depression could become the number one killer in the nearest future if left untreated.
Adebowale who spoke at a forum in Lagos, said scientific findings show that sleep is a performance enhancer, while depression is the opposite.
He said that sleep is a normal and essential part of life, and that the body requires sleep to regulate and rejuvenate.
The physician who listed some of the impediments to good sleep, said good sleepers take less calories, and that sleep improves concentration and productivity, thus lowering risk of heart disease and stroke.
He noted that good sleep lowers risk of depression, while it improves immune function. He also said that very soon depression would be the number one killer.
Adebowale listed sleep disorders to include hypersomnia, excess sleep, circadian rhythm-sleep-wake disorder, parasomnia and some sleep movement disorders.
Also speaking, a Sleep Consultant, Dr. Olusola Oguntolu, stressed the need to raise awareness on the benefits of good sleep.
He explained: “To understand why sleep is important, think of your body as a factory that performs a number of vital functions.
As you drift off to sleep, the body begins its night-shift work: Healing damaged cells, boosting the immune system, as well as recharging the heart and other parts of the cardiovascular system for the next day.”
Giving insight into sleep disorders and respiratory ailments, he described Sleep Apnea as a dangerous condition associated with significant risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus and stroke amongst other conditions.
“The good news is that the disorder is easily diagnosed and eminently treatable. However, it requires a heightened awareness as well as proactive effort by the patient and healthcare provider for early recognition and treatment.”
“Anyone who suspects that they have any of the listed risk factors, should seek further evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider for possible referral to a specialised sleep consultant”, he said.