According to Philips 2021 global sleep survey released to coincide with World Sleep Day 2021, Singaporeans are reporting sleeping less since the start of COVID-19.
To get a better night’s sleep, Singaporeans are now experimenting with a variety of methods, including having a set bedtime/wake-up schedule (26%), watching television (24%), reducing caffeine consumption (22%), reading or playing soothing music (19%), and using sleep trackers or monitoring their sleep (10%).
If you’re also having a difficulty sleeping, here are 7 ways to address your sleep issues:
1. Recognize the challenge
Getting adequate sleep every night might be a tall order. Work demands and active lifestyles can interfere with sleep, and excessively busy schedules can often extend past usual or ideal bedtimes.
Acknowledging that insufficient sleep is a problem is the first step in gaining the awareness necessary to put you on a path toward better sleep.
2. Understand your sleep habits
Identify the various factors that might be contributing to unhealthy or inadequate sleep. Tracking your sleep with a sleep diary for one to two weeks might reveal unrecognized patterns of disrupted sleep and/or practices that do not promote good sleep, like drinking alcohol or watching television right before bed.
Knowing your individual sleep habits – such as stress triggers that may keep you alert or anxious before bedtime – will help you identify solutions to sleep better.
3. Prepare yourself for sleep
Take certain steps to prepare before bedtime. Begin by winding down one to two hours before going to bed. Try to avoid exercise or worrying about your fears.
Meditation may help calm an otherwise “overactive” mind, and relaxation exercises can do the same for the body.
4. Regain control of your personal sleep space
Unrestrained use of mobile gadgets like smartphones, tablets, computers can cut into the time generally reserved for our sleep. Disconnect from the ‘24/7’ pressures of society and make a conscious effort to turn off these devices close to bedtime.
Use the bed and bedroom only for sleep and avoid using it for non-sleep-related activities, such as watching television. Create an ideal environment for sleep by keeping the bedroom dark and quiet, and adjust the room temperature to keep it comfortable.
5. Make sleep your priority
Make sleep an important part of your daily life and encourage your family members to sleep better.
Discuss healthy sleep habits with your family, friends and co-workers, and explore ways to protect against interruptions to the sleep schedule, including unnecessary calls or messages during bedtime, and recurring late night or unreasonably early morning activities.
6. Seek help from an expert
If you face significant difficulties with falling and/or staying asleep or if you are excessively sleepy during the day, you may have an underlying sleep disorder. Many sleep disorders tend to persist and might give rise to other health consequences, like cardiovascular challenges and an increased risk for comorbid conditions if left undiagnosed or untreated.
If you struggle falling or staying asleep, avoid taking medications that can cause insomnia and discuss alternative regimens with your physician that are less disruptive to sleep. It is important to consider an evaluation by a health care professional to determine if your lack of sleep is related to a sleep disorder.
Consider taking a quick online sleep assessment to determine your risk for sleep conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.
7. It’s never too late to begin
There are several things that you can start doing tonight to improve your sleep. Keep a regular schedule of your sleep and wake times. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise during the day can be helpful for winding down at night.
Eliminate activities and behaviors that do not promote sleep, such as taking prolonged naps during the day and engaging in stimulating activities late in the evening, such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages close to bedtime.
Following these practices will open opportunities to sleep longer with each passing night.
Lastly, Singaporeans are also turning towards telehealth and online health resources to address sleep issues. Over half (57%) say the first time they had a telehealth appointment was during the pandemic.
To learn more about the Global Sleep Survey and Philips’ commitment to improving access to sleep technology worldwide, visit here.