By Jo Lynn Chong
In IE 320 we discussed sleep problems with Dr Foo Joo Ee who gave essential tips on the causes and solutions on sleep deprivation. In this issue, Ipoh Echo went out in search of people to discuss their sleep problems.
Most of the interviewees stated watching television, social networking, studying, doing homework, playing games and working as their main late-night activities.
“Ever since I started working, I’ve been sleeping late due to late-night outings and hanging out with friends after work. I normally sleep between 11pm to 12am. For me, this is not considered late because I wake up at 7am during weekdays, so I am actually having 7 to 8 hours of sleep,” a 26-year-old Ipohite expressed. “I also realised it has become a habit, however. Let’s say I’m already lying on my bed at 9 pm or 10 pm, but I’m still not ready to sleep early, because I feel like enjoying some me-time, like watching dramas or being on social media after a whole day of working.”
Sapna, a 17-year-old Ipoh girl who normally sleeps about 12am told Ipoh Echo, “I started sleeping late since I was 13, either studying or watching television. I don’t like sleeping late but I will do it if needed.”
Lai Chin Khong, 36, said, “I used to be a late sleeper, usually around 12 am as I had unpredictable working hours and a busy schedule. Now, I sleep before 11pm, as I cannot tolerate sleep deprivation as I grow older.”
Chris Teh, a 26-year-old Ipohite journalist said, “I’ve never had much thought about sleeping late because it was a normal thing to do. Sleeping late, however, had caused a lot of unwanted occurrences in my life, like random doze-offs or extreme fluctuations of my mood.”
Another Ipohite, Ginla Chew, who has tried many ways such as sleeping earlier, reading, yoga, meditation, exercising, only drinking coffee and tea in the morning as well as even taking some Melatonin tablets to help her to relax and sleep, but all to no avail.
“I would try to go to bed early, at about 11pm, but still cannot sleep. I would be rolling and rolling until maybe 1am. Then, about 2 something, my dogs would wake me up and I’d take them to go poo and pee. After that, at 4 something, my dogs would wake me up again, and by then, I’m awake already,” she elaborated.
Chew therefore normally sleeps about three hours or four hours, maximum, per day.
Being like this since her twenties, she expresses that she feels upset for not being able to sleep like a normal person. “I don’t have worries or stress but I just cannot sleep, even when I feel tired,” she lamented.
After consulting a doctor and doing a blood test, Ginla’s test results show that she is healthy.
“So the doctor said it is ok, I’m normal. Unless I have headaches in the morning, then he will try putting me on hypnotherapy treatment which does not involve taking drugs, but I don’t experience any headaches in the morning so I don’t really need it,” she explained.
“People say I am very anxious,” she told Ipoh Echo. “I eat fast, drive fast, talk fast. Everything is fast for me, super fast.”
Doreen Kam, another Ipohite expressed, “I always feel that if I sleep early, it is like wasting my time as I can still do things.”
“The brain keeps working and working so like when your brain is working, you can’t sleep, isn’t it?” she explained.
“Sometimes I get disoriented and don’t know what is happening like suddenly you just wake up thinking: what day is today? I’m in Ipoh or KL? Where am I? Because I do make trips to Kuala Lumpur, stay a few days then come back to Ipoh,” Doreen told Ipoh Echo. “The disorientation affects at least the first part of my day.”
“I think I’m a bit of a ‘kancheong’ (anxious) person. If I’ve got an early appointment tomorrow, I cannot sleep tonight. I get very worried that the alarm may not ring, I won’t get up and I’ll not be on time, so I’ll have a lot of dreams, keep waking up, checking the time and things like that,” she also added.
When asked about the number of hours she sleeps per day, Kam stated, “I think about five to six hours a day.”
Here are only a few examples of the many sleeping habits that people have. Nevertheless, regardless of how busy we are, each and every one of us must not sleep on this issue of sleep.