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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 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
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 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.
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 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
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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