Dr Silas Ndimanthang, a medical practitioner in Hope Service Clinic, Yaounde says “insomnia can lead to obesity, stroke and heart failure.”
He made the declaration in an exclusive interview he granted to The Post in his Yaounde office.
According to him, “insomnia is having difficulties in sleeping. That is going to bed or desiring to sleep but can’t do so.”
Dr Ndimanthang said one of the causes of insomnia is anxiety and other factors like chronic illnesses, poor sleeping habit, depression; lack of exercise and consumption of certain medications.
“Some drinks like Coca-Cola as well as hard drugs like marijuana and chemical substances called caffeine can result in insomnia.”
To him, an average sleeping period for an adult is six hours and children should sleep for eight to nine hours.
“If we happen to sleep less than the number of hours mentioned above, one might tend to breakdown, thereby resulting in poor reasoning since everything comes from the brain. Poor performance at work and in school could also be as a result of insomnia,” the medic said.
He also said high blood pressure, injury and other health problems could also cause insomnia.
Going by Dr Ndimanthang, insomnia can be prevented by first reducing anxiety, which can be done through meditation; exercises, listening to music and getting adequate sleep.
“Improving sleeping habits, behavioural therapy and identifying and treating the underlying causes could be a gateway to getting rid of insomnia,” he advised.
Meanwhile, to the US-based National Institute of Health, NIH, insomnia is a wide range of sleeping disorders from lack of sleep quality to lack of sleep quantity.
The NIH says the majority of chronic insomnia cases are side effects resulting from other primary problems.
Medical practitioners, who refer to themselves as Physician Group, hold that insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying awake even when the person has the chance to do so. Chronic insomnia disrupts sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and sometimes every day.
The American Association of Sleep Medicine, AASM, says two primary goals of treatment are set aside to improve sleep quality and improve related day time impairment.
They say strategies to achieving these goals will vary depending on underlying causes of the disease.
“If the patient has a medical neurology or sleep disorder, treat the disorder. Adequate pains control can greatly relieve insomnia related to pain syndrome.”
In 2017, the AASM released an updated guideline for the pharmacologic treatment of insomnia in adults.
The AASM guidelines recommend psychological and behavioural interventions, including cognitive behavioural therapy as effective in the treatment of chronic insomnia as well as primary insomnia.
The guidelines also encourage theses interventions as initial therapy when appropriate.