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NEWS CRUNCH
Which country has the worst sleepers?
Philips global sleep survey shows Singaporeans among one of the world's worst sleepers

15 March 2019 — Japanese and Singaporeans are among the world's worst sleepers, getting just 6.3 hours of sleep on the weekdays, lower than the global average of 6.8 hours. On weekends, Canadians and Singaporeans clock the least amount of sleep at 6.6 and 6.7 hours respectively, the global average is 7.8 hours. The daily recommened hours of sleep for adults is 8.

These findings were published in Royal Philips' annual global sleep survey report, "The Global Pursuit of Better Sleep Health."

The annual global sleep survey, carried out in conjunction with World Sleep Day (15 March), surveyed over 11,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.

Sleep becomes an elusive goal

Results showed that while awareness of sleep's impact on overall health is on the rise, for many people across the globe, achieving good sleep health remains elusive.

Besides being one of the top two nations having insufficient sleep, 70% of Singaporeans describe their sleep as 'somewhat' or 'not at all' well, and 4 in 10 (39%) say that their sleep has worsened in the past five years. 65% of Singaporeans saying they have experienced several episodes of daytime sleepiness throughout the week.

Stress was the main reason keeping Singaporeans up at night, with 61% of them losing sleep over worry or stress - higher than the 12-country average of 54%.

Other factors that keep Singaporeans up at night include their sleeping environment (35%), distraction from entertainment such as television, social media (30%) and their partner's snoring (14%) or sleep schedule (10%).

Facing such sleep deprivation, 81% of respondents from Singapore say that they want to improve their quality of sleep by experimenting with a variety of methods, including instituting a set bedtime/wake-up schedule (28%), reducing their caffeine consumption (25%), playing soothing music (19%), and even sleeping in a different location from their partner (12%).

11% percent of Singaporeans have also used connected care devices to track their sleeping habits, according to Philips' Future Health Index (FHI) study.

The quest for a better night's sleep

In seeking a better sleep, 43% say they would be willing to use online search engines to learn more about sleep and/or treatments to improve their sleep, 41% would be open to seeing a sleep specialist.

Yet, despite the obvious need to address their lack of sleep, sleep issues are often deprioritized.

80% of Singaporeans have not sought help from a medical professional, mainly due to the perceived high costs of sleep consultation (48%) and treatment (43%).

Having good and sufficient sleep contributes to good overall health, similar to having a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. "The lack of quality sleep may not only induce low productivity and daytime sleepiness, but also pose serious health issues if not addressed. Those who suffer from prolonged poor sleep should consult their doctor to identify contributing factors and determine if they or their partner are at risk of underlying health issues such as obstructive sleep apnea," said Mark Aloia, global lead for behavior change, sleep & respiratory care at Philips.

As a seldom-discussed, under-diagnosed condition, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing throughout the sleep cycle and prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs.

As many as 1 in 3 Singaporeans suffer from sleep apnea, and 91% have not been diagnosed.

Symptoms of OSA include choking or gasping for air during sleep, loud and persistent snoring and excessive daytime fatigue and poor concentration during the day.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious short and long-term health risks including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.

Take this one-minute quiz to assess your risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Philips.com.sg/saveoursleep.

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APBN Editorial Calendar 2019
January:
Taiwan Medical tourism
February:
Marijuana as medicine — Legal marijuana will open up scientific research
March:
Driven by curiosity
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