Life SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 1 Sleep and Healthy Lifestyle National University of Singapore Undergraduates Profile Jiexuan Wang SM2 Group 1 National University of Singapore SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 2 Sleep and Healthy Lifestyle National University of Singapore Undergraduates Profile Sleeping, along with other healthy life habits has arisen awareness in recent years. As will be stated later, the majority of university undergraduates rarely took healthy living seriously.
University students have long been known, as claimed by Dement (1997), to burn the midnight oil and maintain an unhealthy lifestyle, which could be potentially hazardous to their health condition. Apart from dozing off in the class, sleeping deprivation and poor sleeping quality led to many long-term effects on the health conditions. Recently, we conducted a survey among the National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduates to explore their knowledge of healthy lifestyle and sleeping habits (see Appendix A Interview Questions).
The research mainly covered the concept of a healthy lifestyle, the sleeping hours and rituals. The aim of this paper is to reveal the general sleeping and healthy lifestyle conditions among NUS undergraduates and to revoke awareness on the healthy lifestyle and sleeping issue. Methodology The primary evidence was collected from our interviews, and several related materials were analyzed as subsidiary resources. We conducted face-to-face interviews and recorded down the responds from respondents. Six faculties were involved in the research, including Faculty of Science, Faculty of Art and Social
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SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 3 Science, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Business, School of computing and School of design and environment. Because of the limitation of the research method, we have only covered 96 respondents in our research. Results and Discussion This research covers the concept of a healthy lifestyle, sleeping deprivation and other related perspectives. The result is to some extent in accordance with our expectation, but some of the problems of sleeping disorders and deprivation have grabbed our attention. This section will discuss these topics in detail.
Healthy lifestyle concept The concept of a healthy lifestyle may vary according to different people. From the research, it is clear that sleep, nutrition and exercise are major contributing factors, with some of the respondents emphasizing the importance of scheduled and balanced lifestyle. However, they could only give an idea of the concept without knowing further about this topic. The following Figure 1 presents an idea of the respondents’ understanding of healthy lifestyle. 71 4 5 5 6 4 8 1 1 80 60 40 20 0 42 51 Figure 1 Healthy lifestyle Concept of NUS undergraduates number of espondents SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 4 Sleeping hours Scientists accentuate the importance of length of sleep, suggesting a six to eight hours of sleep every night. Insufficient sleep may lead to diminishing productivity, tendency to make mistakes and most dangerously, unintended sleep. Figure 2 shows the sleeping hours among the respondents. The percentage of sleep deprivation among NUS undergraduates is sobering. 18 out of 95 respondents stated that they have less than 6 hours of sleep each day, and as one of the respondents added, “There were many students dozing off during lectures. In addition, some of the respondents gave details of the sleeping time at night, ranging from eleven o’clock to two or three o’clock in the morning, and even shockingly, four or five in the morning when there is no lecture in the morning. However, noting that our biological rhythms work just the other way around, the sleeping habits of the majority of undergraduates are unhealthy. Reports (Fredrik, 2007) indicated that the period of 11 o’clock in the evening to 3 o’clock in the morning is when the body goes through a detoxification process and any time between 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock in the morning is suitable for defecation process. 0 60 40 20 0 below 6 sleeping hours 6 to 8 above 8 18 5 72 Figure 2 Sleeping Hours among Undergraduates in NUS SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 5 Sleeping Rituals Sleeping rituals could affect the sleeping efficiency and quality of sleep. Figure 3 illustrates the major sleeping rituals among the NUS undergraduates. One major factor is eating. Eating before bedtime has been a long-discussed topics among scientists. It is a two-edged sword, for sleep-benefit drinks such as a cup of warm milk can improve the efficiency of sleep while most snacks taken before bedtime are well known to be weight gaining.
Interviews with respondents reveal that most of them will choose to eat before bedtime if they are hungry. However, burning the midnight oil easily contributes to bedtime eating habit. Besides, scientists claim that eating within three hours before bedtime is unhealthy (Taft, 2012). The research also reveals that the second most favorable activity before bedtime is to exercise, which was proved to be beneficial to the improvement of sleeping quality, as stated in (Wooten, 2007).
Among other common sleeping rituals, recreations like movie watching may cause an excitement before sleeping time and resulted in sleeping disorder. number of respondents Exercising Chatting Set Alarm Shower Go Out Listening to Music Reading 25 12 12 9 37 1 1 3 2 1 16 15 15 19 Figure 3 Things NUS Undergraduates Do before Sleep SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 6 Conclusion The research reveals that the majority of undergraduates have a relevantly clear concept of a healthy lifestyle and that the sleeping pattern of the majority of undergraduates is reasonably healthy.
The overall results from each faculty were mostly the same (see Appendix B). However, when it comes to sleeping hours and sleeping rituals, much can be done to improve the quality and efficiency of sleep, in order to avoid impaired performances and unintended sleep during daytime. The significance of the study of sleeping patterns is obvious, for it reveals the healthy condition of undergraduates and possibly revokes awareness of sleeping issue among NUS undergraduates. (846 words) SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 7 References Fredrik, P. (2007). When is the Best Time to Sleep?.
Retrieved November 30, 2012 from http://www. ineedmotivation. com/blog/2007/10/when-is-the-best-time-to-sleep/ Taft, W. (2012). Stop eating three hours before bed. Retrieved November 30, 2012 from http://willtaft. com/eat-at-least-3-hours-before-going-to-sleep/ Dement, W. (1997). Sleepless at Stanford. In What all undergraduates should know about how their sleeping lives affect their waking lives. Retrieved November 30, 2012 from Stanford University, Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders Web site: http://www. stanford. du/~dement/sleepless. html Wooten, V. D. (2007). Discovery Health: "How to Fall Asleep". Retrieved November 30, 2012 from http://health. howstuffworks. com/mental-health/sleep/basics/how-to-fall-asle ep. htm SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 8 Appendix A Interview Questions 1. What is your concept of a healthy lifestyle? 2. What do you think are the factors that represent a healthy lifestyle? 3. Do you think that sleep is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Why? 4. How much sleep do you normally have? Is it any different during examinations? 5. Do you have any leeping ritual-? a series of actions that you usually carry out-? before going to sleep? How long does it take you to do this? 6. Do you eat before bedtime? A. What food/drink helps you to sleep? How does it help you to sleep? B. What food/drink prevents you to sleep? How does it prevent you to sleep? 7. Do you exercise before bedtime? What type of exercise do you do? How long does it take you to do this? 8. What other activities do you do before sleeping? Do/does these/this help or prevent you to sleep? SLEEP AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE 9 Appendix B Research Data (Original)
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