“There’s plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead.”
“Sleep is for the weak!”
You might have heard your busy-bee friends often exclaiming variations of the above in a bid to sound like their schedules are packed with productive activities that will make them successful, if they aren’t already. But media mogul Arianna Huffington has been a long-time advocate of the importance of proper sleep – and no one would dare argue that she isn’t successful! So what’s the deal?
There are many upsides to getting a good night’s rest. If you’ve been attempting to learn a new skill (be it a language or sport), sleeping might actually help you perform better the next time! Think of your brain as a battery that needs to be recharged through quality sleep, which has been shown to enhance one’s problem-solving skills and boost memory performance.
Sleeping well will also lower your chances of suffering from various health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and the like. Well, it probably goes without saying that if you’re fast asleep, you’re unlikely to make a midnight trip to the kitchen for a snack or dial up McDelivery for some late-night nuggets, but there is a physiological reason behind why you’re less likely to get hungry. Your leptin (a hormone) levels are responsible for making you feel full, and when you don’t get enough rest, you will be hangry – and your body is going to demand fatty, calorie-laden foods to punish you for it.
Singaporeans are actually one of the most sleep-deprived in the world, mostly due to the pervasive culture of OT-ing (clocking in overtime) and Netflix binging. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression and inflammatory issues and affects your performance at work or school adversely. This sluggishness will affect your reaction time too. No matter how great a driver you are on the road, if you can’t keep your eyes open, you’ll be posing a danger to yourself and others. “Drowsy driving” is just as dangerous as drink-driving …so if you haven’t slept, don’t drive!
Your bedroom is your personal sanctuary and you should respect that space by making it as cozy, comfortable and conducive for sleeping as possible! You might have heard some of these tips before, but it’s always good to remind yourself every now and then as old habits die hard (no. 3 is particularly tough to do!).
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
- The ideal temperature for sleeping is somewhere between 16-18 degrees Celsius.
- Stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. If possible, leave them in a separate room!
- Invest in a good mattress that provides adequate support.
In this fast-paced world we live in, no. 5 may also prove to be quite a challenge. Meditation, breathing exercises and yoga are all great ways to end the day. Setting the mood with some soft, soothing music can make all the difference too.
If you’re unsure where to begin, you can join Singapore’s first-ever full moon sleepscape, organised by Ascend Yoga Therapy in conjunction with GuavaPass on Saturday, the 24th of November at 7pm. You’ll get to experience 5 hours of sound therapy and learn life-changing techniques that you can try at home to get better sleep! Sound therapy often involves the use of gongs and crystal bowls to help lull you into a meditative state. It is simultaneously passive and participatory – as you lie there, your breath slows down as you relax, but at the same time you need to remain aware of each sound you receive. It has been said to alleviate body aches and guarantee a good night’s rest afterwards, and is gaining traction in places such as the U.K.
Get ready to drift off…