How Singaporeans’ sleep patterns have changed with COVID-19

Singaporeans have experienced at least one or more new sleep challenges since the beginning of COVID-19, according to the findings announced by Royal Philips in its 6th annual sleep survey, “Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World”.

As with fears and concerns in any crisis, the pandemic has exacerbated the sleep woes. The pandemic has impacted Singaporeans negatively mostly in these areas:

  • Stress – 45%
  • Ability to sleep well – 40%
  • Mental/emotional health – 40%
  • Sleep routine – 36%
  • Work routine – 33%
  • Physical health – 31%

Almost a year since the onset of COVID-19, Singaporeans are reporting sleeping less, averaging:

  • 6.8 hours of sleep per night (vs 7 hours in the 2020 survey)
  • 6.6 hours on weekdays (vs 6.7 hours in the 2020 survey)
  • 7.3 hours on the weekend (vs 7.5 hours in the 2020 survey)

For half of the Singaporeans surveyed, their sleep patterns have been altered by the pandemic

  • 28% say that they now sleep less each night, with less than half
  • 46% feeling that they get enough sleep at night
  • 21% saying that they feel well-rested most of the time when waking up in the morning

Falling into a deep, continuous sleep is a challenge for many, with those surveyed facing difficulties like:

  • 35% of Singapore adults report newly experiencing difficulty falling asleep.
  • 21% report newly experiencing difficulty staying asleep.
  • 40% report waking up during the night.

The top reasons for Singaporeans’ lack of sleep are:

  • Worry and stress (31%)
  • Sleeping environment (16%)
  • Mobile devices (13%)

Singaporeans kept awake by worry/stress say they worry most about their work responsibilities (58%), financial challenges (56%), family (32%), and their own/families’ health (30%). Almost a third (31%) also worry about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For those accustomed to using their mobile phones in bed, nearly half (49%) say it’s the last thing they do before falling asleep and the first thing they do when waking up (45%). Most use it for entertainment (47%), charging their phone overnight next to their bed (32%), and over one in 10 (15%) even respond to texts and calls that wake them up.

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The majority of respondents who use their phone before falling asleep (69%) admit that it leads them to fall asleep later than they would like to, due to scrolling through social media (71%), watching videos (62%), texting (45%), checking emails (39%), or reading news about the COVID-19 pandemic (28%).

Regardless of age, gender or geography, sleep is seen as an important part of overall health, but consumer sleep is not as good as it should be.

The pandemic has negatively impacted people’s sleep across the globe. However, people do recognize they are not sleeping enough and have been actively trying new strategies to improve their sleep.

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