Why Do We Need Sleep?

The reason why humans need sleep is not well understood although the most probable one appears to be that sleep is needed for rest, repair and restoration of the mind and body. It is also likely that memory and learning are consolidated during sleep. Much of what we do know comes from sleep deprivation experiments. Read More

What Is Normal Sleep?

Normal sleep consists of cycles of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep alternating with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep consists of light sleep and deep sleep. REM sleep is also known as “dream” sleep. The function of sleep is believed to be restorative, a time of rest and repair for the body. Normal adults Read More

What Is Good Sleep?

Good sleepers generally have regular sleep-wake schedules and sleep at least 6-7 hours a night. A good sleeper feels refreshed upon awakening and is able to maintain alertness throughout the day, without the need for an afternoon nap or sleeping in on weekends.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

Sleep needs vary with age. A newborn may need as much as 14-17 hours spread throughout day, an infant may sleep 12-15 hours with most of sleep consolidated to the nocturnal sleep period, while toddlers may require 11-14 hours or more. Primary school going children should get 9-11 hours of sleep, while teenagers should get Read More

Is Getting Too Little Sleep Harmful?

The serious short and long term consequences of sleep deprivation reflect the important restorative functions of sleep. When we do not get enough sleep, our memory, concentration, alertness and mood are affected. Daytime sleepiness leads to poor school or work performance and can result in serious accidents. Left untreated, long term sleep disturbances decrease quality Read More

Are Afternoon Naps Good For You?

In the majority of people who do not get enough sleep regularly, a short 20-30 minute nap in the afternoon, when there is a natural mid-afternoon “dip” in alertness, can be refreshing and help recover some lost sleep. Sleeping in for an hour or 2 on weekends can have a similar catch-up effect. Naps however Read More

What Are The Most Common Sleeping Problems?

The 2 largest groups of patients seen are those with insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness. The most common causes of insomnia are related to high arousal states at night, so one is unable to fall asleep even when feeling tired at night. This can happen because of poorly managed stress, mentally stimulating activities late into Read More

How Are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?

Many sleep problems can be diagnosed with a comprehensive sleep history. Lifestyle factors contributing to poor sleep such as excessive caffeine use, late-night exercise or eating and poorly managed stress should be identified. All patients with insomnia should be screened for depression and treated accordingly, with questionnaires such as the Beck Depression Inventory as useful Read More

What Is A Sleep Study And When Is A Sleep Study Indicated?

A sleep study involves staying overnight in the sleep laboratory and being hooked up to a machine which is monitored by sleep technologists. Sleep patterns can be studied in the laboratory using machines which record brainwave activity, breathing, heart rate and limb movements during sleep. At least 6 hours of sleep are recorded using electrodes Read More

What Is Good “Sleep Hygiene”?

Good “Sleep Hygiene” refers to the basic “rules” for good sleep, an essential part of sleep education every patient needs to know: Try to go to bed and wake up at around the same time. Our sleep-wake patterns are regulated by an internal “clock” which dictates when we feel sleepy. We are usually sleepiest at Read More

General Sleep & Health, Normal Sleep Requirement

Why is sleep important to good health? Sleep is a vital time of rest and restoration of the body. Sleep deprivation leads to physical and emotional adverse consequences on health. These include reduced attention and vigilance, with daytime sleepiness – leading to accidents, elevated blood pressure, mood disturbances, increased risk of obesity, heart disease and Read More

Causes of Sleep Problems, Sleep & Other Diseases

What the common sleep problems faced by Singaporeans? The most common problems seen in specialist Sleep Disorders clinics in Singapore are insomnia and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Other frequently encountered sleep related issues are chronic sleep deprivation, jet lag, shift work related sleep problems and dependence on sleeping pills. All of these conditions are treatable, Read More

Sleep & Diet

What foods or drink should be taken to sleep better? Eating well before bedtime – at least 4 hours before bedtime is more conducive to sleep. Late night eating just before going to sleep, especially if eating a heavy, spicy or oily meal, may lead to acid reflux symptoms (eg “heartburn”), which can affect sleep. Read More

Sleep Hygiene Techniques: How To Get Good Sleep Naturally

What are some general recommendations for healthy sleep? Establish good sleep habits as listed below: Sleep-Wake Schedule: Get up at about the same time every morning, including weekends. Maintain a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up. Stimulus Control: Go to bed only when you are feeling sleepy. Only use your bed for Read More

6 suggestions for the bedroom for better sleep:

1. Keep the bedroom dark, “blackout” curtains are helpful to shut out the bright morning sunlight. Darkness is needed for the secretion of the body’s normal sleep hormone, melatonin. Conversely bright lights suppress the body’s natural melatonin and will disturb sleep. 2. Avoid overly stimulating activities in the bedroom, such as watching TV or playing Read More

Sleeping Pills & Other Sleeping Aids

What sleeping aids do you recommend? What are the benefits or side-effects with such sleeping aids? Non-addictive sleeping aids are safer for use than true “sleeping pills” which carry the risk of tolerance and dependence (or, addiction). Such sleeping aids are usually in the antihistamine or antidepressant class, and can be effective in relatively low Read More

Benefits of Napping

What are the benefits of napping? Can napping affect your sleeping pattern at night? Or health? Napping is a helpful way to catch up (the next day or on weekends) on sleep debt accumulated as a result of sleep deprivation. Short afternoon naps can be refreshing and restore lost sleep. If afternoon naps are too Read More