Lagos – Nigeria’s center of noise pollution. – BelloNaija
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Lagos – Nigeria’s center of noise pollution.

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Lagos, the commercial hub of West Africa, Nigeria’s most congested city and like most will like to describe it, the city that never sleeps. If you can live and survive in Lagos, you can live and survive anywhere in the world. The beauty of Lagos isn’t just in its architecture, or how the city combines business and entertainment effortlessly or the tall rising buildings or bridges kiss crossing, its magnificent cuisines, restaurants, malls, relaxation centres but in its diversity — It is its ability to accommodate all and sundry and still flourish.

It’s a place where you would easily find Nigerians from every region or geopolitical zone. It isn’t also unusual to bump into other Africans, Asians, Europeans, Australians and even Americans on the streets of Lagos, walking or driving freely like a familiar city in their country.

However, in all these beauty and splendour that our favourite Nigerian city holds, there is one thing that one will always find unpleasant in Lagos, ‘noise’.

Noise and Lagos are like rice and stew, married and still in love after many years.

You go to the bus stop, the bus conductor is screaming at the top of his voice, ‘Yaba Palm Groove, Onipanu’, the ‘agbero’ on the other hand, is screaming his lungs out at the conductor for his ticket fee, the bread seller is at the other corner of the road, shouting ‘Fine butter bread’, to interested and uninterested customers alike.

Then you set off on the journey proper, from Ikeja to Yaba, that shouldn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes, if not for the signature traffic that accompanies almost all roads in the city.While you’re contending with the various types of honks necessary or unnecessary from several motorists, you also have to deal with ear-deafening phone ringtones of your fellow passengers and the conversation on the line that mostly sound like they’re having a fight with the person on the other end of the phone.

As if that isn’t enough, two passengers on the bus are having what should be a normal conversation but it sounds more like an orator addressing a town hall meeting — Your only prayer at that point should be that no argument erupts between the driver and a passenger or between the conductor and another passenger over change’ or even between passengers, because you are going to be in a lot of ‘noise situation’. The noise in Lagos also extends to residential areas. On some streets, residents have to contend with the noise generated from heavy speakers from a nearby church, and if they are unlucky, they have two or more on just one street.

Then there’s the mosque with its early morning alarm. In all these, you may also find a school or more in the same area, where happy children blare off in rhymes and songs, oblivious of the amount of noise they make at their assembly ground.Some residents will deal with these and if there is a football viewing center just by the corner of their home, the matter becomes even worse. While the football fans are excited about an upcoming season, residents are worried about their evening rests especially on nights when two star English or Spanish clubs meet.

Then the one that almost everyone is guilty of, ‘generator’. In the name of generating power where the Discos have failed, the comfort of a neighbour is slaughtered at the altealtaryours.In very nook and cranny of the city, there is something or someone consciously or consciously generating noise without recourse to the hazard noise could cause to other people.

On October 15, 2014, the then governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola now Minister of works and housing had introduced what he called “horn free day”. Where motorists in the city would have to resist the thrilling temptation of blasting their car honks.Introducing the initiative, Fashola had said; “It is for our own good, it is for our own health, it is for our own life. It is not because Governor Fashola said so. It is not because Lagos State Government said so. It is simply because it is good for us. Doctors have told us it is for our own ultimate good”, the Governor said.

According to him, “What we see in a way that we now choose to live is that because we live in a very noisy environment, which we can really diminish, we tend to be very noisy ourselves. We speak at the top of our voices, we play music at very high decibels and we do very many things at very high levels”. Many observers described the initiative as highly successful with a success rate of 70 percent.

In a chat with George Nwosu, a health practitioner at a private hospital in Lagos and he had this to say about why Lagosians must minimise the noise they make.

According to Dr Nwosu, whether or not you’re used to a certain type of noise, it can still lead to serious psychological disorders and, when that happens, you may not even know it because you have become too used to it. He noted that high noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease.He said “Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as coronary heart disease (CHD) or ischemic heart disease (IHD), involves the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle due to build-up of plaque in the arteries of the heart. It is the most common cardiovascular disease.”

When exposed to noise for a long time, Nwosu says it can cause a range of health problems such as stress, poor concentration, productivity losses in the workplace, and communication difficulties and fatigue from lack of sleep.’He noted that ” when noise becomes too much, people tend to become easily irritable, nervousness, irrational in decision making.” He adds that it goes even worse to causing health conditions ranging from “cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, tinnitus and hearing loss.”

What has contributed to the excessive noise in Lagos?An environmental expert, Titilayo Ekundayo says ” rapid urbanization is one major culprit of noise Lagos.She describes noise in two categories, indoor and outdoor environmental noise pollution which she says could cause adverse health effects on babies in the womb, newly born, little children, adolescents and adults.She said ‘on Lagos roads, finding outdated vehicles which should have been put away for many years isn’t strange.

“Then you also have increased traffic, congested residential areas, crowded educational institutions and workplaces, unregulated commercial and industrial noise, which have become a source of noise pollution with long-term disability. ““You must have seen herbal drug sellers and music CD sellers or Disc Jockeys with heavy speakers just to advertise or draw attention to their business.”“Some churches hold vigils and turn on all their speakers causing noise that could cause sleep disturbances which have been known to cause serious long-term health consequences,” she stressed.

She explained further that, of the people to be given full protection from noise pollution, “Pregnant women, foetus, nefetus, infants and children top the list.” How can we reduce noise pollution? She says this can only be achieved when “there is proper monitoring of schools, workplaces, commercial and industrial areas to check the noise levels generated. ”She added that “There should also regulation of traffic noise to be within safe limits. Bus-stops, railway stations and airports should not be situated in residential areas.”

What noise does to you, Anyone who lives in a very noisy area can attest to one or more of these. Poor sleep – You’re thinking of taking a nap, but the blaring sound from “Baba jedi ” speakers are having a toil on that simple decision because all you can hear is how one herbal drug cures all types of ailments including death.

Let’s not forget to mention the dangers associated with irregular sleep or not sleeping well at night on your day.

Noise interferes with your speech – You most definitely can’t have a meaningful conversation in a noisy environment.

Poor concentration – This is one of the banes of noise pollution which affects everyone including the culprit of pollution and has long term disadvantages such as making hasty or poor decisions.

You find yourself spending long hours doing something that should have been done at a shorter time and so on. In all these, it becomes imperative for Lagosians to make a very conscious effort to tone down the noise they generate.

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Street Talk

‘Having sex makes men more likely to believe in God’

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New research has proven that having sex could spur some sort of connection with divinity in us as human beings.

According to a Semester talk delivered by Christopher West and titled: “God, Sex and The Meaning of Life”, sex releases a chemical that is vital love and affection sharing.

The chemical, oxytocin, which plays a crucial role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes, and during and after childbirth, is also known as the “hug hormone” and “cuddle chemical”.

Oxytocin was discovered by an English pharmacologist and physiologist, Sir Henry Dale in 1906.

This bonding chemical occurs naturally within us and is stimulated during sex, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

For a long time, the chemical has been known to promote social bonding, trust, and even altruism.

Now, scientists at the North Carolina university in America say it could also incite spirituality in men too.

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Street Talk

The many effects of bathing with warm water

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We all can relate. The pressures of daily life provide a natural incentive to pace ourselves, and a warm shower or bath could act as a basic boost or relaxant, depending on the time of day.

However, research continues to prove warm water has significant benefits beyond a feel-good factor, with some studies placing its health advantages on par with physical exercise.

Here are a few reasons why choosing warm water shouldn’t only be a matter of personal preference.

Kick-starts your day, decreases stress. Heat from the water stimulates the heart to work harder and faster, thereby accelerating blood flow around the body. It’s also been proven to enhance oxytocin levels, which in turn elevates the mood and lowers stress.

According to Neil Morris, a psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, bathing in warm water can significantly advance general psychological wellness. Morris studied 80 people who took a bath with warm water each day for a fortnight and found that it diminished feelings of depression and pessimism while developing a pleasurable, hedonic tone.

A warm shower before bedtime typically soothes the body, mind and nerves. Apart from that, warm water also affects the body’s production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep.

At night, the body’s core temperature naturally falls, triggering melatonin production. A warm shower or bath around bedtime then slightly raises the body temperature, causing it to drop steeply on exiting the bathroom. This prompts a heightened production of melatonin, and more likelihood of a good night’s sleep – the benefits of which are widely recognized.

Lowers blood pressure and promotes muscle healing. Taking a regular warm bath – with its circulation and vascular function advantages – can help reduce blood pressure and stiffen blood vessels. The effect of heat-induced blood flow on the body is tantamount to a light exercise session. The warmth encourages muscles to expand and contract while loosening joints, tendons and tissues.

Although not an enduring cure for pain, five minutes under warm water can considerably ease pain, spur healing and restrict inflammation. It’s a more convenient alternative than a massage and more organic than medical treatments.

Eliminates bacteria. The elementary reason for having a bath is to cleanse ourselves. Clogged pores lead to blemishes and an accumulation of toxins in the skin. Warm water opens up skin pores, making it easier to clean out dirt and impurities. The temperature increase also has an adverse effect on most bacteria.

Taking these baths or showers is particularly useful if there’s a wound, as it helps kill bacteria, fend off infection, and promote circulation in the injured area for faster healing.

Relieves cough and cold symptoms. Nasal congestion is as a result of inflammation in the nasal passages. Inhaling steam from warm water activates the blood vessels in the face and nose, consequently opening up the airways, as well as loosening phlegm and mucus blockages that could be causing a cough or sore throat.

A warm bath also empowers the immune system to better fight viruses.

This list isn’t exhaustive – warm water’s various health merits range from weight loss to controlling diabetes. As it also has a number of physical wellness benefits, warm water bathing should not be reserved exclusively for cold weather. Warm water is proven to naturally enhance the body and facilitate a sense of calm all year round.

So the next time you contemplate a warm bath, think past the pleasant experience itself to its long-term value. Your body will thank you for it.

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Street Talk

Boost your sex life with these eight fruits

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Most people always find ways to improve their sexual experience hence scientists have linked a variety of foods that can boost sex drive.

Keeping the circulatory system in good working order is essential for healthy sex life. Better circulation can lead to an improved sexual response in men and women.

Foods that can help people improve their sex drive are commonly called ‘aphrodisiacs’, named after Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love.

Certain foods help in increasing the blood flow throughout the body. Your diet arguably has the biggest effect on how the body will function; here are foods that can boost your sex drive;

Strawberries and raspberries

The seeds of these fruits are loaded with zinc which is essential for sex for both — men and women. It is believed that women with high level of zinc in their bodies find it easier to prepare for sex.

In men, zinc controls the testosterone level which is responsible for producing the sperm. It is important that men load up on zinc as their zinc levels reduces during intercourse.

Avocados

Did you know that the word “avocado” came from the Aztec word for “testicle”? Folic acid and vitamin B6 are both necessary for a healthy sex drive as contained in avocados.

Folic acid pumps the body with energy, while vitamin B6 stabilises the hormones.

Watermelon

Watermelon improves one’s erection and increases the sex drive.

The truth is this juicy tropical fruit does so much more than replenishing your body with fluids.

Almonds

Almonds contain arginine which improves circulation and relaxes blood vessels.

This amino acid found in almonds helps you maintain an erection.

Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that boost dopamine.

It also contains arginine, an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and increases circulation.

Oysters

Oysters have been associated with increased sex drive since the time of ancient Rome. With so much history behind it, the whole oyster-libido linkage probably has some truth to it.

Oysters are high in zinc, which is essential for proper functioning of the male reproductive system

Bananas

Apart from the obvious shape of the fruit, it’s the potassium in bananas that can help improve your sex drive.

Since potassium helps increase muscle strength and contraction, achieving orgasms can become much easier.

Additionally, bromelain helps produce testosterone. Add a frozen banana to your post-workout smoothie or add banana slices to overnight oats for some natural sweetness.

Tigernut

Medically, this may not have been proven but traditionally, tiger nuts has been used as an alternative medicine for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and related problems.

Its rich content of the Vitamin E also helps in men fertility issues as it aids in the free and active movement of the sperm which will easily swim to fertilize the egg leading to easy conception.

It also contains other vital minerals which will help boost sperm count and also improves its thickness. It also improves sex drives in both men and women.

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