Saturday June 21 2014

Let’s try to catch some night sleep

A Chile fan wishes Spain goodbye in cheeky style after his side defeated the 2010

A Chile fan wishes Spain goodbye in cheeky style after his side defeated the 2010 champions 2-0. Uganda football lovers often stay out late to watch World Cup games because of different time zones with hosts Brazil. photo by AFP 

By Moses Banturaki

The human brain has a natural instinct for four key things, and in no particular order – sex, hunger, sleep, and thirst.
In case you are keen to prioritize them, here is some help. It is has been scientifically proven that while a human being can go 27 days without food, they will only last 11 days without sleep!

I am not willing to test that, but I worry that many World Cup fans are already stretching it because the time differences between Brazil and Uganda mean that live games are being televised between 7pm and 3am. That leaves most people with a four-hour window of sleep before the next cycle of life begins.

And given the popularity of football in this country, we may soon morph into a nation of drowsy slow-reacting zombies as people struggle to contain the after-effects of an average of three to four hours of sleep on a daily for the next month. I happen to know a couple of people who already operate on 20 hours working time as in this fast-paced world of ours, functioning on less sleep is something we wear as a badge of honour.

But let it be known that lack of sleep is very dangerous whether that is due to a slippery corporate ladder, morning school runs scheduled before the traffic builds or indeed late night football games.

A quick research on WebMD reveals to me that lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. In short, it will make you worse off at what you are trying to be good at.

The chaps who live off coffee and Red Bull may choose to disagree, but they ought to know that when it comes to caffeine dependency, the benefits are short term and the damage long term.

So if you have noticed bags under your eyes, a craving for unhealthy foods, an inability to remember the names of your nieces or an urge to overtake a long line of vehicles even when a loaded 18-wheel truck is screaming down the hill, then it is because you are abusing or ignoring your body’s natural instinct to recover from the stress you subject it to.

And the point is that no football game is worth all this crazy bag of ills. I know that as football lovers we revel in the camaraderie of late night pub life as much as we hate to be secondary witnesses to a game like the one between Holland and Spain.
But you have got to question the sanity of risking your health staying up to watch a game showing at 1am especially if it may turn out like the shambles Cameroon served up against Croatia the other night, or was it morning?

So what are you going to do? I would sleep a bit that’s what! And here is a deal. Select to watch only the games that start at 7pm.

If it’s too late for that and you feel like you are already 24 games into a monster sleep deficit anyways, go to sleep right now and wake up in time for the semis and finals. Come to think about it, out of the 64 games played in total, only one matters-the final.