Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sound sleep eludes most Dar residents, says MNH specialist

Naturally, all human beings should have an uninterrupted night sleep of eight hours – and work for eight hours a day; anything beyond that means you’re less productive, a Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) specialist has said. The biological clock requires that humans should sleep all night, and that sleep during the day and work at night cannot bring the same quality of product, and that any interruption of the biological clock means insufficient production. Biologically, the human body is driven by the sun, active during the day because the quality of sleep during the day is not of the same as night sleep. A mental health specialist and head of department of psychiatry at MNH, Dr Frank Masao, says that in order to be healthy and productive, human beings need to work 40 hours a week (five days), and spend the rest of the time for leisure. In an exclusive interview in Dar es Salaam mid this week, Dr Frank Masao told the Guardian on Sunday that most people suffer from poor attention and concentration is poor when a person works works more than eight hours. As a result, the quality of their work suffers. Lack of quality sleep also results in poor judgment from low attention to detail as well as headache.   When people decide to sleep during the day and work at night, the natural biological clock does not bring the same quality of productive work. “You cannot have deep sleep during the day … and the quality of work done at night is different from that we do during the day,” Dr Masao says. Due to pressure of work, some people are forced to work at night without sleep … or just catch nap while at work during the night … this results in professional hazards at work,” he says, arguing that the quality of work from people who work night shifts was lower than the same work performed during the day. He said times had since changed; not long ago, it was possible to sleep for eight hours, work for eight hours, but this wasn’t possible these days … because of many factors, including traffic jams. He also attributed most traffic accidents to ‘work without sleep.’ Grayson Mtalemwa, a public servant living in Mbezi, said he couldn’t afford sleeping for eight hours because he spends six hours on the road due to traffic jams. “I used to wake up at 4:30 am to get public transport to the city centre where my offices are located … my typical day starts at 5:00 am … we are soon met with grinding strong traffic jams along the way to the Ubungo traffic lights … we spend almost one hour to ge through those traffic light.” he explains. There’s yet another gridlock at Magomeni Usalama, where you need more than half an hour to negotiate your way over there; then another one awaits at the Fire Station. Overall, it takes up to three hours to get to my office – the same time needed to get back home. I spend more than an hour waiting for transport at the ‘Posta’ station, which is heavily congested during the evening; my journey home takes a good three hours – between 06:00pm and 09:00 pm – after which I eat and wash, and usually go to sleep between 10:30pm - 05:00am. Lino Kiriho, a businessman at Kariakoo who lives at Tegete, complains that he spends more than three hours from his home to his work place. He said he once used ‘boda boda’ commuter services to get to town, but these have since been restricted to doing business in the suburbs only – and with that stroke of restriction, his eight-hour date with night sleep has been permanently interrupted.

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