Singapore is one of the most sleep deprived nations in the world with almost 8 to 10 Singaporeans spending their weekends trying to repay their sleep debt. But can that actually work?
What Is Your Sleep Profile?
Most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping, which is actually necessary for us to function properly in the day and to allow our body sufficient time to rejuvenate and recharge. Pretty much like how we need to recharge our phones in order for our phones to be functional.
Sleep is crucial to our health, mental and emotional well-being. There’s nothing quite like a good night’s rest and waking up fresh and recharged ready for what the morning brings.
Just for laughs… check out which “Sleep Profile” describes you best!
1. The Energizer Bunny - Bounces straight out of bed, fresh and ready - no problems with waking up or lethargy. This bunny is just raring to go!
2. The Zombie - Mornings always feel hazy and you usually feel like you are in a daze. It usually takes you quite a while to actually wake up and feel like yourself, you might come to after your third cuppa.
3. The Vampire - You are not a morning person at all. The best times of the day for you starts after the sun sets and you are at your best and most active late at night. Mornings to you are for sleeping in and anything or anyone who wakes you up from your beauty sleep in the morning can look forward to one grumpy and grouchy Vampire! Beware those fangs!
4. Sleeping Beauty - You love to sleep. Sleep is your best friend and it is never enough. You can literally sleep all day long (unless your prince comes along to wake you from your sweet slumber, that is).
If your “Sleep Avatar” is Zombie, Vampire or Sleeping Beauty, you might be wondering why sleep never seems enough and why you tend to feel sleepy, tired, fatigued and generally low in energy during the day. We’ve rounded up some insights on the common causes of feeling sleep deprived and tips to help you wake up on the right side of the bed (on most mornings at least)!
Reasons Why You Find It Hard To Wake Up In The Mornings
Feeling groggy or disorientated when you wake up? Chances are, your morning grogginess is just sleep inertia, which is a normal process of waking up. Your brain does not instantly wake up after sleeping. It usually transitions gradually to a wakeful stage, which typically happens within 15 – 60 mins.1 During this period, if you are not careful, you can easily fall back asleep. You are more likely to experience symptoms of sleep inertia when you:
- Wake up abruptly from a deep sleep
- Set your alarm for earlier than usual
Blue light exposure
The increase usage of electronic devices in recent years has increased our exposure to blue light. During daylight hours, blue light exposure can boost alertness and mood. However, when it comes to night time, blue light, more than other types of light, suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. This makes it harder for you to get good quality sleep, which can make it hard for you to wake up in the mornings.
Poor sleep environment
Our sleep environment can actually have a pretty significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Here are some areas to look at for a more conducive and restful sleep environment:
- Temperature: Your bedroom being too warm or freezing cold could cause restlessness and make it hard for you to enjoy good quality deep sleep. You might be tossing and turning in the night or waking up intermittently to adjust your bed covers which can affect your sleep.
- Noise level: Loud noises including the noise of traffic passing by close to our home can disrupt our sleep time and affect the quality of our sleep. If you are a light sleeper, prefer to sleep with open windows or you live in an area where there’s good amount of traffic passing through even at night, investing in a pair of ear plugs to block out the noise when you sleep might be a good option to consider.
Eating and drinking habits
What you consume just before bedtime can keep you up all night and make you feel tired in the morning. Having too much caffeine in the day or too close to your bedtime can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Alcoholic drinks, although shown to have a sedative effect, usually does not result in good quality sleep. In fact, once the effect of the alcohol wears off, it might actually hinder you from getting into a state of deep sleep. Drinking too much water just before bedtime can also disrupt your sleep if you have to wake up multiple times at night to use the bathroom.
Tips to Wake Up On The Right Side Of Your Bed (For Most Days)
Get Enough Sleep
This probably sounds like we are stating the obvious, but it basically is what it is. The main biggest reason why we wake up tired is because we don’t get sufficient hours or sufficiently good quality of sleep. Our body essentially needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to support optimum functioning.
Relax Before Bedtime
Try and schedule a time to sleep daily, and declutter your mind by settling work or other stressful tasks early, and start winding down at night before bed. You could find relaxing and simple bedtime routines, such as reading a book or listening to soothing music to help unwind. The use of aromatherapy can also help with relaxation.
Limit Activities in Bed
If possible, tune out the telly and the use of your phone before you get into bed. The blue light emitted from these electronic devices interferes with how fast you are able to fall asleep and negatively affects the quality of your sleep too. It is recommended to limit the use of electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.
Keep Your Sleep Area Conducive
Your bedroom during bedtime should be dark, quiet and well-ventilated. The recommended ideal temperature for sleeping is about 22 degrees Celsius2, but it also depends on personal preferences on how cool you want your room to be. Turn down any background noise that might affect your sleep. If you’re sleeping with a partner who snores, the use of ear plugs could really help you sleep a lot more soundly. In terms of mattress selection, try a medium-firm mattress and mattress experts also recommend replacing your mattress every 9 – 10 years for best sleep experience. For those who are prone to allergies, a hypo-allergic mattress cover may work well for you too.
Mind Your Tummy and Avoid Stimulants
Hunger pangs or feeling still too full from dinner or supper can make it hard for you to fall asleep comfortably. You’ll also want to keep away from stimulants like caffeine when it is nearing bedtime. For some of us who are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you might even want to consider staying away from caffeine beverages/foods up to 7 hours before your bedtime. As a general rule of thumb though, try not to consume foods and drinks containing caffeine 3 hours prior to your bedtime.
When it comes to alcohol, limit your tipple to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks for men3. Reduce the need and frequency of night-time bathroom visits by not drinking too much fluids at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Exercise During The Day
Exercising in the day helps keep your body alert and also releases endorphins that help you feel good and focus better. It also helps to regulate your energy and expend excess energies, so you tend to fall asleep easier at night. Ever noticed how children seem to sleep more soundly after swimming or a good length play session?
Sleep Help with Supplements
Try getting some help with sleep supplements! Melatonin , a natural “sleep” hormone, helps regulate your rest cycle. Improve your sleep quality with GNC PN Tri-Sleep™ , a non-habit forming supplement with Triple-Layer Sleep Technology that promotes relaxation and calms brain activity for restful sleep.
Getting sufficient, good quality sleep every day is very important. It does not only affect your energy levels but also your brain, heart, sugar levels, immunity and mood. We hope this article helped you identify areas that might be affecting your sleep and shed some insight into how to sleep better and wake up feeling fresh and more energetic!