Just how much should you be sleeping every day? Should you get a good night's sleep?
Just how much should you be sleeping every day? How to get a good night's sleep? If you think that sleep is just a period of inactivity, think again. Our nightly shut-eye allows our brains to consolidate our learning and memory so we can perform tasks better the next day. When we have enough sleep, we are less likely to overeat and crave junk, and we make wiser food choices.
If you've ever been sleep-deprived, you would have noticed your inability to concentrate, slow responses, impulsive decision-making1 and even felt easily annoyed. Not to forget those dark eye circles that refuse to budge.
Perhaps sleeping in on the weekends could make you feel better, but what's lost is lost. Two days of better rest cannot compensate for a week's worth of impaired performance.
Sleep Well, Live Better
The quantity and quality of sleep determine whether you wake up feeling energized or like a walking zombie.
Are You Getting Quality Sleep?
Depending on your age, the optimal sleep duration varies. If you are above 18 years old, strive to get at least 7 hours of sleep. See the recommended sleep duration for different age groups below.
Have a Short Nap for Some Energy Booster
Taking a short nap (e.g. averaging 10 to 20-minutes) in the afternoon can help recharge your energy level and boost your daytime productivity. Make sure to time it right, taking a nap too close to bedtime can interrupt your nighttime sleep.
Exercise regularly as physical activity can help you sleep better.
Release the tension in your body to help you sleep better.
Try some simple muscle relaxation exercises
Wind down from the chaos of the day by calming your senses. Grab a book, take a warm bath, or listen to some soothing music. A consistent routine can signal your body to sleep at the same time daily.
Related: Sleep Deprivation
Relaxing music can calm your mind and cue your body for some shuteye.
The night mode function filters out blue light, which inhibits your brain from producing sleep-inducing hormones.
Dim or switch off the lights in your room - consider using blackout curtains or eye masks to help block out external lights.
You can also consider using earplugs to remove noise distractions for better sleep.
It's hard to sleep when your stomach is rumbling. Eat a couple of hours before sleep, or have a glass of milk before heading to bed. A big dinner may cause discomfort, keeping us wide awake. Also, avoid satiating hunger pangs before bed with large meals11. Instead, have light and healthy snacks like low-fat yoghurt, a cup of milk, or a serving of fruit.
There's a reason why we drink coffee in the morning – it is a stimulant that promotes wakefulness. While alcohol may make you drowsy, it impacts the quality of your sleep.
Using electronic devices (such as your handphone) before bedtime stimulates your mind, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Keep them away at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Keep receiving late-night messages from your friends? Try sharing these goodnight stickers to remind them to sleep as well as practise good sleep habits!
Download these adorable stickers
Visit MindSG for more tools to take care of your mental well-being.
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 Tomaso, C. C., Johnson, A. B., & Nelson, T. D. (2021). The effect of sleep deprivation and restriction on mood, emotion, and emotion regulation: Three meta-analyses in one. Sleep, 44(6), zsaa289. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa289
 Hirshkowitz, M., Whiton, K., Albert, S. M., Alessi, C., Bruni, O., DonCarlos, L., Hazen, N., Herman, J., Katz, E. S., Kheirandish-Gozal, L., Neubauer, D. N., O'Donnell, A. E., Ohayon, M., Peever, J., Rawding, R., Sachdeva, R. C., Setters, B., Vitiello, M. V., Ware, J. C., & Adams Hillard, P. J. (2015). National Sleep Foundation's sleep time duration recommendations: Methodology and results summary. Sleep Health, 1(1), 40–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010
 Brooks, A., & Lack, L. (2006). A brief afternoon nap following nocturnal sleep restriction: Which nap duration is most recuperative?. Sleep, 29(6), 831–840. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/29.6.831
 Slama, H., Deliens, G., Schmitz, R., Peigneux, P., & Leproult, R. (2015). Afternoon nap and bright light exposure improve cognitive flexibility post lunch. PloS One, 10(5), e0125359. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0125359
Kline C. E. (2014). The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 8(6), 375–379. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827614544437
 Tomba, E., Belaise, C., Ottolini, F., Ruini, C., Bravi, A., Albieri, E., Rafanelli, C., Caffo, E., & Fava, G. A. (2010). Differential effects of well-being promoting and anxiety-management strategies in a non-clinical school setting. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24(3), 326–333. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.01.005
 Buysse, D. J., Cheng, Y., Germain, A., Moul, D. E., Franzen, P. L., Fletcher, M., & Monk, T. H. (2010). Night-to-night sleep variability in older adults with and without chronic insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 11(1), 56–64.
 Koelsch, S., Fuermetz, J., Sack, U., Bauer, K., Hohenadel, M., Wiegel, M., Kaisers, U. X., & Heinke, W. (2011). Effects of music listening on cortisol levels and propofol consumption during spinal anesthesia. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 58. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00058
 Lockley, S. W., Brainard, G. C., & Czeisler, C. A. (2003). High sensitivity of the human circadian melatonin rhythm to resetting by short wavelength light. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 88(9), 4502–4505. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030570
 Chung, N., Bin, Y. S., Cistulli, P. A., & Chow, C. M. (2020). Does the proximity of meals to bedtime influence the sleep of young adults? A cross-sectional survey of university students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(8), 2677. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082677
 Komada, Y., Okajima, I., & Kuwata, T. (2020). The effects of milk and dairy products on sleep: A systematic review. International Journal Of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(24), 9440. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249440
 Noorwali, E., Hardie, L., & Cade, J. (2019). Bridging the reciprocal gap between sleep and fruit and vegetable consumption: A review of the evidence, potential mechanisms, implications, and directions for future work. Nutrients, 11(6), 1382. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061382
 Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195–1200. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3170
 Park, S. Y., Oh, M. K., Lee, B. S., Kim, H. G., Lee, W. J., Lee, J. H., Lim, J. T., & Kim, J. Y. (2015). The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep. Korean Journal of Family Medicine, 36(6), 294–299. https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.294
 He, J. W., Tu, Z. H., Xiao, L., Su, T., & Tang, Y. X. (2020). Effect of restricting bedtime mobile phone use on sleep, arousal, mood, and working memory: A randomized pilot trial. PloS one, 15(2), e0228756. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228756
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This article was last reviewed on
Friday, February 18, 2022
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