Sorry that we slept through World Sleep Day, which was on 18 March! But it is never too late to give you some statistics on the state of sleep health in Singapore as well as some tips or advice on how to get better quality rest.
ResMed did a Global Sleep Survey, which was conducted in the first quarter of the year and had over 23,000 respondents in 12 countries. It asked respondents what’s keeping them up at night, and aims to build awareness of the critical role good sleep plays in both physical and mental health.
Across most countries, a majority of respondents reported that stress has had an impact on their sleep since the start of the pandemic, with a high of 64% in Brazil and a low of 35% in Germany and Japan. In Singapore, work-related concerns were the leading factor, with 33% of respondents citing them as a reason for not sleeping well at night. Beyond work-related concerns, respondents in Singapore listed depression and anxiety (26%), financial pressures (25%), and family pressures (23%) as common reasons for not sleeping well.
The survey also revealed how respondents in Singapore felt about the quality of their sleep:
- 61% said they have slept better or longer while working remotely, with 57% of those who currently work remotely believing that more in-office time will make it difficult to wake up in the morning.
- Over 40% of respondents reported that they were not satisfied with either the quality or quantity of their sleep; 34% also said they usually feel tired.
- Only 18% surveyed regularly felt refreshed after waking up in the morning.
How to get better sleep
While sleep health is an important issue, many survey respondents in Singapore said they’re not consulting with their doctor on solutions to get a better night’s sleep, but rather turning to potentially unhealthy habits such as:
- Binge-watching television shows to help them fall asleep (34%)
- Staying up later to induce tiredness (21%)
- Reading (13%) and gaming (12%)
An overwhelming majority of respondents in Singapore (76%) also say their doctor has never proactively asked them about the quality of their sleep – the highest percentage of all countries covered in the survey.
If you do speak to a medical professional about sleep hygiene, it will be pretty similar to our list of 8 Steps to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. But of course, if you’re following those steps but still find it hard to get quality sleep, then you definitely need to find out the root cause.
Snoring and sleep conditions
While everyone experiences a lousy night of sleep occasionally, those who experience ongoing sleep issues could be dealing with a more significant underlying health condition. 61% of respondents in Singapore reported snoring or being told they snore, but only 35% are concerned about health implications tied to snoring. People may think they are sleeping soundly when in fact, they are repeatedly and unconsciously waking up throughout the night due to undiagnosed sleep apnea – of which snoring is the number one symptom.
“Sleep quality can be impacted by lifestyle changes and poor habits, but many people are struggling with undiagnosed conditions that may be the root cause,” said Justin Leong. “Sleep apnea is a serious health concern, but awareness of it remains low, and few in Singapore have sought treatment.”
In Singapore, only 12% of respondents said they have been tested for sleep apnea. That percentage is the lowest, even among other countries where most respondents have not been tested: 22% in the United States, 17% in France, 15% in Germany, and 13% in the United Kingdom.
To learn more about the state of sleep health across the globe and sleep apnea, or to take a quick self-assessment for your risk of sleep apnea, visit SleepForBetterTomorrow.com. Or if you’re looking to be more accurate, you can invest in a smartwatch that has an oximeter or consult a sleep specialist who may advise you to do an actual sleep test to diagnose more accurately.
Sleep is definitely very important for one’s overall health and if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, then it is time to do something about it by identifying the cause(s) and working towards solving it. We wish you all GOOD SLEEP tonight!
Images: Envato and Unsplash