By Danmaryam Zayamu
Blue light found in mobile phones, computers and other devices has the capacity to affect what experts describe as restorative sleep.
A Family Physician, Dr. Moyosore Makinde, disclosed this while speaking at a panel discussion on sleep and lifestyle medicine, at the 2nd International Lifestyle Medicine Conference organised by the Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg), in Abuja.
She insisted that sleep is more restorative for every individual when the needed measures are adhered to.
According to Dr. Makinde: “Several factors contribute to alertness and difficulty in initiating sleep.
“One important factor is the light intensity to which one is exposed to within 1-2 hours before expected bedtime.
“The spectrum of light that is implicated here is the blue light which is found in our devices such as mobile phones and computers as well as fluorescent bulbs.
“The intensity from the blue light suppresses the sleep hormone, Melatonin, thus causing difficulty in falling asleep.
“We, therefore, advice that people with sleep difficulty should avoid activities on such devices and also avoid watching TV within 2 hours of expected bedtime. This is part of sleep hygiene.”
According to her, studies had shown that day time sleep should not be more than 20 minutes while good restorative night time sleep should be eight hours, as stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr. Makinde, reiterated that good sleep was key to overall well-being.
“Sleep deficiency is a trigger for most diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and hypertension.
“Statistics has shown that those who have poor sleep at night are more likely to eat more calories in a day,” she said.
She warned that while sleeping, some hormones burn calories in the body but in absence of sleep, these calories were retained in the body leading to weight gain and obesity.
This is even as the Wife of the Delta State Governor, Mrs Edith Okowa, has advised Nigerians to know their genotype before getting married in order to prevent would-be couples with AS and AS gene from getting married.
Couples with AS genes will end up giving birth to children with Sickle Cell disorder.
Speaking at the panel, Mrs Okowa disclosed that her Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), O5 Initiative, is focused on advocacy for sickle cell disorder.
“We have concentrated on establishing Sickle Cell Clinic in hospitals in Delta State. We already have 14 of the Clinics out of the 25 Local Governments in the State,” she revealed.
On her part, a Family Health Physician, Dr Adaeze Ifezulike, revealed that lifestyle medicine is a game changer to keep fit and reverse the rise of non-communicable diseases in developing countries.
“Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based medicine where professionals use simple lifestyle therapeutic approaches to prevent, treat and often times reverse the cause of life time chronic illnesses,” she explained.
She said that physical activity such as regular exercises is capable of preventing almost all diseases, especially non-communicable ones.
She noted that it also reduces the risk of breast and colon cancers as well as Type 2 diabetes.
Earlier, at a media briefing, President of SOLONg, Dr Ifeoma Monye, advised Nigerians to engage in physical activities, have restorative night time sleep, involve in social support and avoid taking harmful substances as well as go for regular medical check-up.
According to her: “We are talking about illnesses such as hypertension, illnesses, type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers and all these illness that plague us.
“We know that before now, we have been dealing with just communicable diseases in Africa but now it is crippling on us that some people are dropping death with heart attack, something that was very rare in this clime.’’
Monye who is a Chief Consultant Family Physician at the National Hospital, Abuja, called on Nigerians to eat more plant-based foods, vegetables and fruits.
She stressed that: “We want people to have adequate restorative sleep, we want people to love more, connect more with your community; we say people should avoid the use of tobacco, alcohol and other harmful substances”