The Director of Lloyd’s bank admitted to having a health problem due sleep deprivation and overwork.
Kim Jong-un, President and Military commander of North Korea, sleeps three hours a day and fasts often.
Horta Osório recognized his situation as a serious one, while Jong-un is believed to be a genius.
In London, it was said that sleep deprivation would reach over 50% of the population. What about in Portugal? There are alarming indicators: 50% of the young adults and teenagers have excessive somnolence. I daily attend patients with sleep deprivation and/or overwork.
They are from all ages, both sexes and all social classes. They are those that rule and those that are ruled. They are executives, officials, salaried and independent workers, merchants and sellers.
They are those that wish to rise in life, and those that are already there. They are rich, poor and remedied. They are those that work in shifts, and those that do not have office hours. They are mothers and fathers, single mothers with dependent children, fathers with two jobs in order to provide for their family. They are those that make it happen in order to pay their debts and those that demand payments. They are those that exercise in powerful positions and those that have little or no power at all. They are many…
At first you work because you have to. You work all night long, going to bed late and getting up early. You hear praises “Well done!” or “What energy!” The good results are obvious: on time replies, the e-mail does not wait, the cellphones always on. Money comes in, or will come in. Success knocks at the door, or will knock at the door.
But… mistakes first start to emerge, fleeting lapses, that word which you cannot remember, that meeting which you forget, the professional error…
Then comes the irritability, then you are on the edge. Then it’s the untimely yawning and the neglect. Memory fades away.
At first, as soon as you get to bed you sleep right away. But latter, you want to sleep and you cannot. Neither by day nor by night. Gaping eyes, head spinning. Sleepless nights, even while on vacations.
Broken sleep, the lost blessing!
Despair, depression, broken memory, sluggish reasoning, bad humor, and “burned out”.
It happens to the best, to those who are best prepared, to the smartest. Genius don’t get little sleep. Some, like Einstein, were considered to be good sleepers. Sleep has guaranteed survival for millions of years. The foremost beneficiary is the brain. Sleep consolidates memory, learning and abstract knowledge, it helps in problem resolution, stimulates creativity and stabilizes emotions.
In order to think and be well, one must sleep!
The body is the other beneficiary. To sleep too much or too little increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer, accidents and reduces life expectancy.
In order to be healthy, one must sleep!
Rules and regularity is required in sleeping, in eating, in resting and in exercising. Beware! Illness results from mistakes in the natural, common sense, rules!
Limits are needed in work, in credit, in expenses, in pleasure, in pain, in everything.
We are not slaves. We need breaks along the day.
We are not as gladiators; instruments to be thrown away when are met with incapacity.
Where did we achieve with so much work, so much unrest, and so much credit, so much everything?
To a country in crisis, a sick society, with sad people and with no future in sight.
Where will Kim Jung-un go, without any control in his warfare strategies, daring and impulsive? What untold suffering will he bring to his people? How much pain, sadness, devastation will spread throughout that region?
Is this the work of a genius brain or rather the end result of a brain suffering from serious decision making issues and impulsive-aggressive tendencies, aggravated by sleep deprivation?
God rested on the seventh day, and we are certainly no gods.
Professor Teresa Paiva
Lisbon, April 5th 2013
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