Sweet dreams? Singaporeans are hardly getting any. Rei Kurohi reports how smartphones and stress are wrecking our sleep.
Photo: Ostill / 123RF
Fewer than one in five Singaporeans get the recommended eight hours of sleep daily, and more than half have difficulties falling asleep, according to a new survey by global research firm 2CV.
Some of the top reasons cited for poor quality of sleep include work-related stress, personal or relationship-related stress, and uncomfortable room temperature.
A quarter of Singaporeans also complained of physical discomfort and pain preventing them from having a good night’s rest.
The survey targeted about 1,000 Singaporeans between the ages of 20 and 59. Among students, half said they slept badly because they often use their smartphones or tablets just before going to sleep.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents take public transport, and more than half take naps while in transit. Close to half also use weekends to “catch up” on sleep lost during the work week.
Despite this, almost half of all the respondents reported being satisfied with their sleep. Having an ideal room temperature was cited as the most important factor contributing to good sleep.
About one-third felt that having a bolster or long pillow to hug made their sleep better, and a similar number recommended exercising during the day.
The survey was commissioned by Courts Singapore to commemorate the launch of its new bedding customisation service, YourBedding.
“It is a known fact that Singaporeans spend long hours at work, which is why it is crucial they take ownership of their sleep and come home to a bedroom that optimises sleeping conditions for a well-rested night,” said Mr Steve Church, group furniture director of Courts Asia.
Previous studies have also consistently showed Singaporeans’ poor sleeping habits.
Last year, for instance, a study by digital sleep-monitoring wristband maker Jawbone ranked Singapore as the third most sleep-deprived city in the world, behind Seoul and Tokyo. Melbourne came out on top as the most well-rested city.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2015, with the headline ‘Sleep survey: Stress, smartphones stymie Singaporeans’ sleep’