- Sleep impacts on our memory and the restoration of our body systems.
- Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in Singapore - with a local reported rate of 15.3%.
- A local study also found that 13.7% of older adults aged 60 and above were reported to experience insomnia.
What is Insomnia?
The inability to fall asleep or difficulty to stay asleep. Also includes waking up still feeling tired or poorly-rested, resulting in poor function of daily activities and daytime sleepiness for more than 1 month.
1. Sleep Time
Set up a wake time and sleep time and stick to it daily. Try to maintain this timing even during weekends
2. Set up your sleep environment
Create a dark, cool and spacious environment. Put on soft ambient music or sounds of waves or trees rustling in the wind. Use lavender or other aromas.
3. Set up and practise a relaxing pre-sleep routine
1 hour before bed, switch off all electronic devices and read a book. Have yourself a light snack like a biscuit and a warm glass of milk.
4. Prepare your body to sleep starting from the afternoon
Stop caffeine 6 hours before sleep. Cut down afternoon naps to a maximum of 30 minutes.
5. Bedroom is for rest
Go to bed only when you feel sleepy. Otherwise stay out of the bedroom and do something relaxing till you feel sleepy.
6. Waking up at night
If you wake up at night and find it hard to sleep, again, get out of the bedroom and do something relaxing until you are sleepy before hitting the bed again.
Engage in exercise of at least 15-20 minutes a day to deepen sleep
8. Seek professional help
See a doctor if you are experiencing emotional symptoms as depression and anxiety or other mental conditions can cause insomnia.
9. Stop tracking time
Stop looking at the clock or your watch if you are unable to sleep as it may make you frustrated and even more awake because you maintain a state of arousal.
10. Plan in advance
Make a plan of your schedule and activities for the next day so that you can stop worrying about what will happen tomorrow.
By : Dr Chen Yiming
Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)
Dr Shawn Ee.
BSc. BPsych. DPsych.(Clinical), Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Registered Psychologist (AHPRA; Australia)