Nature is unforgiving debt extractor. In all aspects of life it shows. In some it comes calling very late. These are for those who are fortunate. For others, it strikes like an angry snake immediately you owe. As debt forgiveness is not a common practice with multilateral institutions, nature forgiveness leaves with some reminders that you are once a debtor.
The modern world builds up conditions and habits leading to sleep debt. Life styles, pills, drinks and deceptive philosophies have raised sleep debt account. As indicated earlier, sleep debt was not a life style in Africa before our modern age. It was not a dominant way of living either by choice or by imposition.
The growth of cities is incurably implicated in the sleep debt crises that accumulate each passing day. The structure of the cities, what could be called the ‘flow’ either imposed by geography or colonial heritage has a share in sustaining the sleep debt. Failure of authorities to work on the imbalance has effectively divided the cities into areas where people go to work and the outlying districts where lowly paid people live.
For example, many persons who work in Lagos island, Victoria land, Apapa and Ikeja of Nigeria live outside these areas. There is no effective transportation system that ensures easy movement and fast arrival at destinations of work. Some workers wake at 4.00am, leave home before 5pm and rush to offices to resume at 7am.
Unfortunately, this same people who woke at 4.00am may remain in the office by imposition or choice. Imposition means that the person cannot go home while the head of his department is still at work. Again, by choice or forced by traffic buildup at closing time, one is discouraged to hit the road immediately at closing. The office a place of work, provides no comfortable condition to sleep before departure time. Moreover, what kind of image would one who sleeps in the place of work be making for oneself?
The man is on a crossroad. Whichever way he goes, length or breath, he loses. Home he must go but he arrives at 11pm. if it is light traffic day, or there is no traffic accident on the road. He takes his dinner around ll.30pm or at midnight. At 4pm, he wakes up for work for the following day.
At work, the boss is a tyrant by words and action. Life is one long stretch of misery. Along this line, a lady banker narrates how some of her colleagues used to excuse themselves to the toilet to cry during working hours! Cry indeed, for themselves and their generation that have not experienced what true living in Africa used to be before the era of sleep debt and associated crises.
Is this a romanticist make up of writers? The fact facing us is that increasingly, this narrative is the plight of many of our young ones. Some may not understand the issue very well because they are still young and enjoys a measure of good health. Yet they are in a cauldron and many don’t know a way out.
Although this work is not a prescriptive note, but if one does not understand that a unhealthy condition is brewing or really exists, how would one ever think of making a change? In reflection. we make bold to say that there are things one could contemplate. Perhaps, some remarks can be useful to those who really believe that sleep debt is a problem; that is not African way of living until recently. It never supported healthy living and happiness. As one writer says, it is ‘waking to death’. This should not be our lot in life. But this wish will hold if we accept that sleep debt is undesirable – antithesis of good life.
In the face of current challenges, what can one do? We cannot exactly reinvent the past. We may not have the power to structurally change those things outside our control and power. But repeatedly we have maintained the position that we cannot leave things to fate. Fatalism will take the modern man nowhere. What options are open to the man or women who go through the stresses mentioned above?
– Can you explore the idea of living close to your work place?
-Make up your mind to loose money and save your life by changing the job that perpetually enslaves one?
-Can you devise a way to have a daily nap to mitigate sleep debt that is so big and on-going?
-Avoid dangerous company of anger in the work place with sleeplessness already devastating you. What a terrible duo? You cannot afford to accommodate them and remain peaceful for a long time.
-Be determined to sleep. This means that you will have to avoid many modern distractions that amount to nothing at the end.
-Do not be led away by some quality time sleeping theory. The time spent sleeping makes a difference. The time must be there first to sleep before the quality dimension.
-Be careful not to be swayed by the stories of the man who slept all his life.
Africans in the past did not sleep beyond early morning. Lazy persons are found in all communities of the world hence you find the meaning of the word lazy in many languages.
-Deliberately adjust some of your life styles that deprive you of sleep.
-Think of other solutions.
– You may understand your situation better than anyone else.
-See a doctor who understands this complex issue if the situation cannot be managed by you.
What do you think?
Learn more.

Previous articleExcuse
Next articleHONESTY