Questions and Answers Version

Home » Questions and Answers Version

Quality sleep is naturally vital to our physical and mental well-being towards a healthy and productive life. Following our information-sharing on matters concerning it, we engage in questions-and-answers series with you, our audience. We thank you immensely for your participation in this interactive aspect of our publication. Here is an extract from the series for widespread benefit.

Dear Doctor, 

I often have poor night sleep. My sleep is also disturbed by horrible dreams. As night approaches I am filled with fear of the night dreams and wakefulness. What will stop these dreams so that I approach sleep without fears and sleep better?

A. R.

Dear A. R.

I recognize the burden of your sleep problems. It is a double-barrel wound to have bad dreams added to poor night sleep.

Everyone dreams! Dreams are one of the interesting and mysterious aspects of sleep. Since Sigmund Freud made some findings about dreams in the late 19th century, considerable research has worked to unravel both the nature of dreams. Dreams are images, thoughts or feelings that occur during sleep, usually in different unreal settings. The components relate to all senses, sights, sounds, taste, smell and touch. Why we dream varies widely and includes the replay of recent events, sorting and consolidation of memory, processing of emotions, spiritual insights, and so on.

Dreaming can happen during any stage of sleep, but dreams are most abundant during the dream sleep stage. It is also called the rapid eye movement (REM) stage because, during this stage, the body muscles temporarily paralyze with the exceptions of the eyes and breathing muscles such that deep to closed eyes, the eyeballs are seen moving quickly under the shut eyelids. This REM stage is the fourth of the four sleep stages of sleep deepness the brain travels through to complete a sleep cycle. Other non-REM stages are Stage 1 – Drifting-off stage; 2 – Light Sleep stage; and 3 – Deep Sleep stage. One sleep cycle lasts 90 – 120mins. During the recommended 7 to 9 hours of night sleep, one goes through four to six sleep cycles. As the night goes on, this REM stage gets longer with each cycle, from lasting a few minutes to an hour. The majority of REM sleep happens during the second half of a normal sleep period, which means that dreaming tends to be concentrated in the hours before waking up. During this dream stage, we have the clearest dreams because the brain activity suppressed during the earlier sleep non-REM stages picks up considerably.

Dreams can have clear or blurred contents and can be sweet or bad. Dreaming is part of healthy sleep and is generally considered to be normal and without any negative effects on sleep. Nightmares are the exception, which with scary contents involve awakenings and disrupt sleep causing impaired thinking, bad moods and anxiety during the daytime. This causes sleep avoidance, leading to further insufficient sleep.

Improving sleep habits offers you sound night sleep even if you have bad dreams. Here are the behaviours for better sleep with sweet dreams:

  • Adopt a regular sleep schedule with consistent bedtime and wake time.
  • Drink plenty of water at least 4.5L – 5.0L over the day, until your urine turns and retains colourlessness like the colour of the water.
  • Regularly eat just enough quantity of balanced diet two or three times daily.
  • Regular SAFE exercises like fast walking, push-up sets, etc. – 30mins daily or at least five days a week
  • Avoiding smoking, excess alcohol and stimulants like caffeine.
  • Good stress management
  • Do not use sleeping drugs, unless prescribed by a well-trained medical practitioner
  • Regular health checks with prompt treatment of any illness
  • Sleep time relaxing techniques – soft music, book reading, repetitive recitation or deep breathing exercises.
  • Sleeping in a quiet, dark, nice-smelling place with a cool temperature
  • Sleeping on a quality mattress and pillow that are conducive sleeping surfaces for supportive posture

If the sleep problem persists after doing the above for three (3) days, see a doctor to identify the potential causes and provide appropriate treatments. 

Yours in service,

Dr Charles

Let us remember that when you sleep, where you sleep and how you sleep affects your mental health, physical well-being and living a healthy life. We all need quality sleep to be set for productivity in our endeavours.

Do you need further information on the above subject? Are you looking for ways to maintain quality sleep for general well-being and healthy living? Remember, a doctor is an appropriate person to offer relevant advice for the maintenance of quality sleep and solution to sleep difficulties. Do you want to contact the orthopaedic sleep consultant, Dr Charles Uzodimma, kindly send your request to OR Whatsapp 08129982143.

Vitafoam Nigeria Plc is the first foam manufacturing company in Nigeria to partner with a sleep expert to educate Nigerians on quality sleep for healthy living. The proudly Nigerian company is truly passionate about sleep and general well-being, and continues to consistently provide Nigerians with quality products that offer great comfort.

To learn more about Vitafoam, please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *