General Health

Sleep Revolution 3: Your Prescription is Sleep

On a Monday morning, a lady walks into a general practitioner’s office with a myriad of issues. She obviously looks sick and pale.

The following discussion ensues

Mrs Patient: Good morning Doctor

Dr Andrew: Good morning Ma’am. How are you doing?

Mrs Patient: Doctor, I am not fine

Dr Andrew: What’s wrong with you ma’am?

Mrs Patient: Doctor, I have a serious headache, my whole body aches, I have generalised weakness, muscle fatigue, abdominal cramp and stomach upset. I am feverishly cold; I am now very forgetful, I eat almost the whole day, am always restless, irritable and anxious. in fact, I am not just well.

Dr Andrew: You sure have a lot of issues disturbing you (he steps out to examine her eyes and her mouth and goes back to his seat)

ALSO READ: Sleep Revolution 1

Dr Andrew: ma’am, let’s get some facts clear. When did you start having all of these complaints?

Mrs Patient: Doctor, it’s been on for over 3 months now. I have taken all manner of medications, yet it is even getting worse.

Dr Andrew: Okay describe your typical daily schedule for me

Mrs Patient: (feeling a bit hesitant) well, I do two jobs, one runs from 8 am to 5 pm, the other runs from 7 pm to 11 pm. I do quite a lot daily. I often retire each day around 1 am and by 5 am I have to be up for the new day.

Dr Andrew: How often does this happen?

Mrs Patient: Everyday

Dr Andrew: (He writes something on a sheet of paper, as he hands it over to the patient)

Mrs Patient: She receives the sheet, only to find the greatest shocker of her life.

You May Also Like: Sleep Revolution 2: The Science of Sleep


Ma’am not having enough sleep can negatively affect all the systems of your body and on the long term creates a disruptive imbalance to normal function.

Central Nervous System

The central nervous system is the body’s highway of information. Sleep is necessary for its proper functioning. During sleep, pathways are formed between nerves in the brain. New information learned is transferred from a temporary primary memory to a more permanent secondary memory. This is why people who sleep less are more forgetful.

Sleep deprivation also negatively affects your mental abilities and emotional state. You may feel more impatient or prone to mood swings. Many times it compromises decision-making ability and creativity. If sleep deprivation continues long enough, you could start having Hallucinations—seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.

Immune System

While sleeping, the immune system is recuperating, producing more infection-fighting substances like cytokines that combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Not having enough sleep will make you defenceless and prone to infections and even more chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension eventually.

Cardiovascular System

Sleep keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy, it plays a vital role in the body’s ability to heal and repair blood vessels and heart.

Sleep deprivation will increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases

Digestive System

Not having enough sleep will also affect your digestive system. Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness.

Leptin regulates fullness; it informs the brain that you have had enough to eat. Without enough sleep, the brain reduces the Leptin levels and increases the ghrelin which is an appetite stimulant. So when you don’t sleep more, you end up eating more, increasing your chances of becoming overweight, obese and even diabetic.

Endocrine System

Hormone Production is dependent on sleep. Testosterone, Growth hormones require uninterrupted sleep for maximum production and release. Sex drive thrives where there is quality sleep. Growth and tissue repair happen during sleep.


Ma’am, Please Go and Sleep More


Return to Clinic after two weeks for follow up!!!

Still to come on the Sleep Revolution Series

  1. The ideal Sleep
  2. Disorders of Sleep
  3. Sleep Hygiene
  4. Sleep Recommendations

Don’t miss any of the episodes

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Dr. Lucky Aziken
Dr Lucky Aziken, a multitalented Optometrist believes health education is key towards achieving a healthy society. He is passionate about knowledge and creatively communicates his thoughts. He loves reading, writing and connecting people.

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