HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Two in five Singaporeans turn to telehealth to address sleep problems: survey

Over half of those surveyed said the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to sleep.

More Singaporeans turn to telehealth and online health resources to address sleep problems, according to a survey by Royal Philips.

Its annual sleep survey, Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World, revealed that 57% of Singaporeans admitted that the pandemic has impacted their ability to sleep, averaging 6.8 hours of sleep per night, down from 7 hours in 2020.

Worry and stress rank as the top reason for Singaporeans’ lack of sleep (31%), as well as their sleeping environment (16%), and mobile devices such as phones and tablets (13%). Singaporeans kept awake by worry and stress say they worry most about their work responsibilities (58%), financial challenges (56%), family (32%), and health (30%). Almost a third (31%) also worry about the ongoing pandemic.

Singaporeans are turning towards telehealth and online health resources to address sleep issues. Of those surveyed, 57% said the first time they had a telehealth appointment was during the pandemic. With the increased reliance on telehealth during the pandemic, four in 10, or 40% of respondents, expressed a willingness to seek help for sleep-related concerns in future from a sleep specialist via telehealth services.

Aside from getting help from specialists, some Singaporeans are experimenting with different methods to help them get better sleep such as having a set bedtime/wake-up schedule, watching television, reducing caffeine consumption, and reading or playing soothing music.

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