An Interventional Cardiologist of the Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore, India, has advised journalists to have at least seven hours of good and quality sleep, to rejuvenate their system for the next day’s work.
The sleep, Dr. Ranjan Shetty said is necessary, considering pressure at work to complete or produce reports on given subject areas each day.
He said too much pressure on journalists could lead to a number of health challenges such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and other acute and chronic diseases.
“Stress is the reason that we are losing our lives and having fewer quality lives. Sleep hygiene is important to manage stress. Sleep hygiene means you are sleeping at a particular time and getting up at a particular time. Sleep is important to rejuvenate you for the next day, make sure your blood pressure doesn’t go up, and that your metabolic parameters between your sugar and cholesterol remain fine.
“…Just make sure you are sleeping well, you are eating two hours before you sleep, and one hour to bed, if possible, make sure you do not look into electronic media – cell phone or messages because all the wild noise impairs your quality of sleep,” he advised.
Dr Ranjan gave the advice at a virtual Cardiovascular Workshop organized by the Ghana Journalists Association in collaboration with the Manipal Hospitals, on the topic: “How Work Stress Can Make Way for Cardiovascular Diseases?” to 18 journalists on the need to reduce stress in their line of duty.
The session took participants through how long-term stress could increase blood cholesterol, blood sugar & blood pressure, which gives rise to heart ailments.
Signs of stress include; irritability, not being joyful with one’s work or usual activities, not finding pleasure in work, insomnia, and fatigue, he said.
To manage stress, Dr. Ranjan asked journalists to associate with work environments that they are comfortable with and take regular breaks from work.
“One important thing to do is to break the monotony, take some break, take time to travel, do something pleasurable whether walking around or listening to music. Once you do these, the work efficiency is also enhanced.
“Regular and moderate exercise is also helpful to the cardiovascular system. For beginners, you can start with 10 minutes of exercise three times a week, and gradually increase to 20 and then 30 minutes depending on your capacity. But bear in mind that too much exercise can be harmful to you, especially when you are aging,” he cautioned.
The Cardiologist said spirituality also helps to release, as it psyched the minds of individuals to believe there are powers that provided them guidance.
He advised them to control the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases such as smoking, and seek medical attention to control diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack, adding that chronic stress leads to chronic diseases.
Dr. Ranjan directed individuals who experienced heart pains to immediately report to a health facility for attention, saying: “Heart attack is like an ‘earth quake’, it gives no signs before attacking you, so always go for a checkup and don’t stress yourself much because one-third of people with heart attack do not reach the hospital. So do not neglect any symptom that suggests you could have a heart attack”.
He also advised the public to eat healthily and minimize their intake of carbohydrates.
Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, the Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said journalists often seek the interest of national leaders, their audience, and the entire public, and fail to think about their welfare.
She entreated them to prioritize their health while on duty as they need good health to be successful in their profession.