As 2018 comes to an end, many Kenyans are taking advantage of the holiday season, as is usually the case, to reflect on their lives and come up with resolutions for the New Year.
For most people, good health and happiness usually rank high among their novel year wishes. However, attaining these goals requires a work-life balance that many Kenyans, especially the working class usually grapple with.
The high cost of living coupled with demanding work schedules and unending traffic jams make many people to arrive home late, hence having limited time for sleep (less than the recommended seven and nine hours daily).
While this might seem as a harmless habit since a majority of Kenyans may already be used to it, health experts caution that insufficient sleep is robbing affected individuals of the good health and happiness they crave.
A new study conducted by the US based Iowa State University has found that losing just a couple hours of sleep at night makes people angrier, especially during frustrating situations.
The research, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, is one of the first to provide evidence that sleep loss causes anger.
The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated changes in body processes that arise from persistent anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body.
Some of the short and long-term health effects include constant headaches, high blood pressure, heart attacks, digestion problems, abdominal pain, strokes and skin problems such as eczema.
Previous studies had shown a link between sleep and anger. But it was unclear whether the sleep loss was to blame for the anger or if the latter was responsible for the disrupted sleep.
The new research answers those questions and provides new insight on people’s ability to adjust to irritating conditions when tired.
“Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions such as an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog, sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time,” said Zlatan Krizan, the lead author of the study and a professor of psychology at Iowa State University.
Study participants were randomly split into two groups. In the first one, people maintained their normal sleep routine (averaging almost seven hours. However, sleep hours for the second group were restricted by two to four hours each night for two days.
To measure anger, the researchers had participants come to a laboratory – before and after the sleep manipulation – to rate different products while listening to brown noise (similar to the sound of spraying water) or more aversive white noise (similar to a static signal). The purpose was to create uncomfortable conditions, which tend to provoke anger.
“In general, anger was substantially higher for those who were sleep restricted,” Krizan said.
“We manipulated how annoying the noise was during the task and as expected, people reported more anger when the noise was more unpleasant. When sleep was restricted, people reported even more anger, regardless of the noise.”
According to said Krizan, sleep loss increases negative emotions, such as anxiety and sadness. It also decreases positive emotions, such as happiness and enthusiasm. “We found sleep loss to uniquely impact anger, and not just result from feeling more negative in that moment.”
To attain a work life balance, it is advisable for people to set manageable goals each day, identify priorities and be efficient with their work time.
Idling in the office or chatting over long periods with colleagues at work robs people of valuable time that could have been used to finish pending tasks.
Without realistic targets and priorities, there is a tendency for people to take up too many tasks while aiming at accomplishing them to no avail. This leads to burn out which eventually leads to decreased productivity at work.
Effective communication and honest conversations with bosses or fellow colleagues about the scope of work one can handle also helps to lessen the work burden in many organisations.
In addition, it is important to have an exercise regime as this helps to decongest the brain and take the mind off work. Above all, exercise is a major contributor to good sleep.
Where all remedies have failed and employees feel persistently overwhelmed, it is important to take a break and seek help from mental health professionals since this could be a sign of a much bigger problem that can lead to depression and other mental conditions.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.