Singaporeans are sleeping more on average, getting 7 hours of sleep per night (vs 6.4 hours in 2019) – 6.7 hours on weekdays (vs 6.3 hours in 2019) and 7.5 hours on the weekend (vs 6.7 hours in 2019). This finding was among others announced by Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), in its 5th annual sleep survey, “Wake Up Call: Global Sleep Satisfaction Trends”.
While Singaporeans are achieving the recommended minimum hours of sleep per night, sleep satisfaction of Singaporeans remains low, with almost half (49%) of Singaporeans saying they are not satisfied with their sleep. Some even feel disempowered when it comes to trying to get enough sleep, where 34% say getting adequate sleep is beyond their control.
Poor sleep quality is evident in the form of restlessness, and eight in 10 Singaporeans (79%) waking up at least once during the night. Just over half of Singaporeans say they have a good understanding of what prevents them from getting good sleep (59%), or know what they can do to tackle their sleeplessness (61%).
Looking at the factors that inhibit sleep, stress and worry continue to be the top reason (34%), along with one’s sleeping environment (15%) and mobile devices like phones or tablets (14%).
Mobile addiction causing sleep woes
Half of Singaporeans (51%) say the last thing they do before falling asleep is looking at their phone, higher than 39% of global adults surveyed, and 45% of Singaporeans look at their phone as soon as they wake up in the morning (vs 39% of global adults).
Around 13% even respond to texts and calls that wake them up through the night, preventing them from getting uninterrupted rest.
Hurdles in seeking treatment or diagnosis
Philips’ global sleep survey found that the fear of the unknown is a limiting factor for people getting diagnosed for sleep conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
A quarter (26%) of Singaporeans believe they might be at risk of OSA, yet 24% are afraid to take a sleep test because they do not want to know if they have OSA.
As a seldom-discussed, under-diagnosed condition, OSA is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing throughout the sleep cycle, preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs. As many as 1 in 3 Singaporeans suffer from OSA, and 91% have not been diagnosed.
Symptoms of OSA include choking or gasping for air during sleep, loud and persistent snoring and excessive daytime fatigue, and poor concentration during the day.
Faced with the lack of quality sleep, 64% of Singaporeans also say they are interested in new information and strategies to improve their sleep.
To combat their sleep woes, Singaporeans this year are experimenting with a variety of methods, including reducing their caffeine consumption (28%), instituting a set bedtime or wake-up schedule (27%) and reading (23%) in pursuit of better sleep.