According to a 2018 survey completed by YouGov, a market research firm, it was found that only 50 per cent of Singaporean adults are getting adequate sleep at night. Based on a sample of 1022 Singaporeans, the data showed that four in ten adults get less than seven hours of sleep.
Although the average adult should be receiving seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every day, 48 per cent of them actually do, and 3 per cent get only four hours of sleep or less.
In an ultra-modern, highly-demanding and fast-paced society like Singapore, it’s not just about a worrying national average. Lower-income Singaporeans are two times likelier to receive less than four hours of sleep nightly, according to Jake Gammon, APAC head of YouGov Omnibus. Within the 3 per cent of people with severe sleep-debt, the proportion of households with income less than S$4000 is twice that of those above.
Additionally, the survey showed that about 75% of Singaporeans experience some sort of sleep disruption, waking up at least once nightly. Mr Gammon also observed that Singaporeans aged 55 and above generally appears to experience better sleep quality, leaving open the suggestion that work demands cause bad sleep plausible.
You Don’t Snooze, You Lose
In another article by Dr Chong Yaw Khian, who runs the Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Clinic at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and is also a Consultant with the hospital’s Department of Otorhinolaryngology, he said that Singapore is ranked as the third most sleep-deprived cities out of 43, behind Tokyo and Seoul. Long-term sleep deprivation can and will affect your health, work and personal wellness significantly.
While there are varying causes of sleep deprivation, work-related reasons like long working hours are among the most commonly cited. Because of this culture, sleep is often traded for more work or play. As technology advances, our sleep cycles get disrupted even further no thanks to our increasing appetite for entertainment.
Sleepiness Can Cause Accidents
The 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. The huge Exxon Valdez oil spill. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Just naming some of history’s biggest accidents caused by accidents involving lack of attention and functional awareness. While the average Singaporeans are nowhere near nuclear plants nor oil-drillers, everyday risks like driving and road safety still exist around us. In one particular study, workers experiencing sleep-debt had significantly more work accidents, often repeatedly.
Sleepyheads Think Slowly
Sleep is crucial to your ability to think and learn. Lack of sleep does your cognitive functions no favours and hurts them in various ways like impairing memories shortening your attention and alertness span, disrupting concentration, hampering reasoning and problem-solving. If you have a major exam coming, or time-sensitive work assignments to submit to your boss, burning midnight oil may not be the best strategy.
Serious Health Problems
You might be kept awake when you were a child by imaginative monsters in your closet who might come out while you sleep. Well, turns out that the monsters come out when you don’t sleep. You could be more predisposed to heart diseases, weight-gain, diabetes, hypertension and stroke.
Lose Sleep, Lose Youthfulness
More than just dark eye rings and puffy eye bags, long-term sleep loss can cause deteriorating skin quality and wrinkles and fine lines too. When facing sleep debt, your body releases increased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which, when in excess, can break down collagen and age skin in the process, and release less human growth hormone, impairing our healing and renewal abilities.
Claw Back Your Sleep
In this article, we are not going to help you combat the Zzz Monster, but to embrace it instead. We have summarized seven usual suspects that ruin your sleep and how you can combat them.
Lay Off The Gadgets
Increasing numbers of researches are suggesting that the blue and white light emissions from monitors and mobile screens hamper your brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle.
Sleeping Pills Could Be Your Sleeping Ills
Unless you are diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner for sleep-related issues, you should stay away from sleeping pills as they typically possess side effects like muscle aches to impaired memory recollection. They can also be highly addictive and cause you to rely ever more on drugs to sleep.
To Snooze, No Booze
Do not be fooled by the drowsiness-inducing liquid’s ability to knock you out to La La Land. Research has suggested that alcohol, while able to make you sleep easier, it can make it harder for you to STAY asleep. Studies have reported that drinking alcohol before bedtime affects your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a state of sleep crucial for good memory and concentration.
No Caffeine After 5
Well, we do not have to explain this part, do we?
Sleep In Without The Workout
Sleep experts recommend staying away from vigorous workouts in the evening as your body temperature rises and takes time to fall back down to regular levels, which can make it harder for you to go to bed. Try doing simple yoga or stretching with soothing music to help you relax.