VOL­UN­TEER­ING – AND THE REST

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

How well did you sleep last night? Hope­fully, you’re not one of the 65 per cent of UAE res­i­dents who isn’t get­ting enough shut-eye on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The statis­tic isn’t ex­actly sur­pris­ing in our open-all-hours cul­ture (re­mem­ber when The Dubai Mall stayed open for 24 hours?), but is it wor­ry­ing?

Ap­par­ently, yes, we should be con­cerned about not get­ting enough sleep for an ex­tended amount of time – longterm, it has an im­pact on our health in a va­ri­ety of ways. The phrase I’ll sleep when I’m dead has never been more apt. This week, we take a look at the is­sues it can cause, and how we can solve the prob­lem of not sleep­ing enough. One of our own staff, Mark, who has strug­gled with the is­sue for years, fi­nally finds out what’s be­hind his con­stant tired­ness on page 36.

Some­times, it’s sim­ply about cre­at­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment in which sleep can hap­pen – cool, calm and de­clut­tered. In­te­ri­ors writer Robin takes us on a chilled-out jour­ney to build­ing the per­fect sanc­tu­ary on page 42, in­clud­ing how to tell whether your bed is big and com­fort­able enough.

If you do find your­self with more hours on your hands this month, we’ve al­ways got amaz­ing things for you to do in our Leisure Charts on page 22 –or how about join­ing the ranks of the UAE’s vol­un­teers?

Shreeja Ravin­dranathan did just that over the past few weeks as she met with peo­ple who do­nated one of the most pre­cious things any hu­man has: their time (read more on this idea in Shaikha Shamma Bint Sul­tan Bin Khal­ifa Al Nahyan’s Ra­madan col­umn, The Al­tru­is­tic Jour­ney ,on page 21). Shreeja spoke to peo­ple from all walks of life who set aside a few hours in the week to do what they can to bring joy to those who need it, whether it’s tak­ing a lonely, aban­doned dog for a walk and a cud­dle, read­ing to chil­dren in hos­pi­tals, un­load­ing pack­ages of gro­ceries to gift to the needy, or help­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties get an ed­u­ca­tion. I prom­ise that you’ll be in­spired to do the same – and now it’s even eas­ier to show your sup­port. The UAE gov­ern­ment’s vol­un­teer­ing por­tal, vol­un­teers.ae, launched last week, al­low­ing res­i­dents to sign up for a wide range of causes. Natalie Long Ed­i­tor nlong@gulfnews.com

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