Mothers (and fathers) all around the world are no strangers to sleep deprivation especially during the early years of parenthood where they are constantly awake and on-guard for their babies. Similarly, Singaporean adults also face this problem and are known to be the most sleep-deprived citizens in the world. New parents will be getting even lesser sleep compared to the rest of the population.
Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA, during the launch of the IKEA 2020 catalogue earlier this month, said study find that only 48% of Singaporean adults sleep the recommended seven to eight hours a night. In addition, 7% of Singaporeans take more than an hour to fall asleep and 77% of those surveyed wake up at least once a night.
These statistics are worrying because less sleep leads to many problems such as depression, weight gain, and even a low sex drive. So how do you get rid of sleep deprivation? Try out these 5 simple tips for a better night’s sleep.
How to get rid of sleep deprivation
1. Exercise (more often)
Exercise is generally the best and most effective way to combat any illness and health problems—even sleep. The National Sleep Foundation in the US discovered that people who regularly exercised were getting better sleep than those who did not. Having a good workout releases endorphins in your body which lifts your mood up and reduces stress. However, it is not recommended to do heavy workouts closer to your bedtime as this might make you feel alert. Charlene Galmado, Medical Director at Johns Hopkins Centre for Sleep suggests doing slower and less strenuous exercises such as yoga.
2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment
IKEA’s SLATTUM upholstered bed frame is designed with clean lines and padded headboard. Let the bed be part of investing in a good night’s sleep, without leaving a hole in the wallet.
To get a better night’s sleep, your bedroom should be a space that makes you feel relaxed and ready to go to bed. Having a cluttered bed filled with yesterday’s laundry or work does not put you in the right space to sleep.
Consider changing the colour scheme of their bedroom or their bed linens to include calmer tones like blue or green.
It is also important that your bed provides you immense comfort and allows you to relax and and doze off comfortably. Invest in beds with a padded headboard that allows you to sit comfortably as you set the mood—like read a book—to get yourself ready to sleep. The IKEA SLATTUM perfect if you want to lean back, read a book and and most of all, relax.
In terms of the lighting in your bedroom, make sure to keep the light low at night—too much exposure to artificial light before bed time might prevent you from sleeping well.
3. Limit irregular and long day-time naps
Not getting enough sleep means that you will definitely to feel sleepy during the day. While you might think you want to catch up on your lost sleep, you are actually doing the opposite. By taking long naps, you are interfering with your body’s sleep schedule and as a result, you are more likely to not feel sleepy at night. If you really love naps, limit it to half an hour at the most.
4. Avoid caffeine before sleep
Coffee may be a great way to start your day but it is definitely not the way to end it. Caffeine promotes alertness and so drinking it before sleeping will not make you ready for bed. On the contrary, you will possibly feel more energised to do other activities. If you do want to drink something, have some hot chocolate or a soothing camomile tea.
5. Limit your use of electronic devices
Lastly, always switch off or place your electronic devices away from your bed. The blue light from these devices stimulate brain activity and decrease melatonin which a sleep-inducing hormone. It also decreases your quality of sleep and you might feel more tired when you wake up the next day.
Sleep deprivation is a real problem and should not be taken frivolously. So parents, take care of yourself and remember to get seven to eight hours of sleep every day!