Power outages at night
Sound sleep becomes a dream in Rawalpindi
Azhar Mehmood & Abdul Rauf
RAWALPINDI, July 4, 2010: Sleep -- a basic human need -- is turning into a luxury for the residents of the city due to the shortfall of electricity that has blessed them with sleepless nights. The six to eight hours of peaceful sleep has become a dream due to frequent interruptions caused by loadshedding at night.
As a result, a large number of people experience ‘sleep debt’ that has multidimensional negative impact on human health. Both mental and physical disorders are experienced due to its negative effect on the biological clock of individuals. The biological clock is a mechanism in human brain that times and controls people’s sleep and wake-up cycle. Adjusting to a different sleep and wake-up timing is not easily possible as this mechanism will always attempt to function according to a normal day-night schedule, no matter how hard a person tries to change it.
“After hours of hard work when we are dying to sleep, the ghost of loadshedding haunts us. Consequently, during the day, a feeling of drowsiness makes us doleful and we are unable to perform to our full potential”, was the concern expressed by Muhammad Younas, a tyre-shop owner, at Murree Road, Rawalpindi, while talking to this news agency.
Azam Khan, a salesman at an electronics shop at Murree Road, Rawalpindi, complained about the problems he has to face due to loadshedding at night by saying, “Our health is severely damaged by lack of sleep. No matter how restless night we have had, we have to come to the shop on time; therefore, we can’t help sleeping during our duty hours. Our salary is already as low as Rs6,000, a day off would result in making the digits look more horrifying. If we are absent without informing, we are sure to lose the job.”
Talking to this news agency, people generally complained that as they cannot sleep properly at night, their children cannot wake up early, the ones who work in offices are unable to observe the official timing, people have become short-tempered, businesses have suffered a lot and their health has also been ruined.
To authenticate all these complaints, Dr. Imtiaz, a senior doctor working at Bilal Hospital, Rawalpindi, explained: “There is no compensation or remedy for lack of sleep. Sleep is the only cure of sleep disorders. And sleeping during daytime is no substitute for sleep at night.”
He further said: “Lack of sleep breeds many syndromes like hypertension, depression, dark circles around eyes and acidity in stomach. It also affects mental capabilities and reflexes. The disturbance in biological clock results in disturbance in almost all systems related to human body and mind. The number of psychological patients has increased significantly during last three years, as a result of different problems, including inability to sleep properly”.