SLEEP : What Happens If We Do Not Get Enought Sleep?


Make sleep your priority

Just like food and water, sleep is also very important for survival. Sleep is the natural remedy for the body to repair, heal and recover. Some of the benefits of getting full night’s sleep are good mood, increased learning and focus, increased energy, improve memory, prevent weight gain, strengthen heart function, and boost the immune system.

Healthy sleep includes adequate duration, good quality, right timing, and the absence of sleep disorders. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult aged 18 years old and above should sleep about 7 to 9 hours a day. Appropriate sleeping time is when our body naturally starts to produce a sleep hormone called melatonin around 9 pm. Hence going to bed late at midnight might not be the ideal practice to have a proper sleep.

What happens if we do not get enough sleep at night?

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration
  • Headache/Migraine

Health Risk with chronic insufficient sleep

People with a lack of sleep may have a higher risk of health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Poor sleep has also shown to worsen gastrointestinal disease. Disrupted or fragmented sleep may affect emotion, metabolism, hormone regulation, and gene expression. Prolonged insomnia also leads to higher mortality.

Factors of unhealthy sleep routine

Some of the factors come from our own negligence such as high caffeine intake, heavy dinner, high sugar intake at night, physical inactiveness, binge-watching drama, and exposure to blue LED lights. These factors can be overcome with self-discipline and proper time management. Other factors include high stress, depression, hormonal changes, change of environment, change of work shift, and sleep-related disorders.

How to promote a healthy sleeping pattern?

Sleep Right Timing

  • 7-9 hours of sleep for adults
  • Recommended bedtime 10 pm
  • Recommended wake-up time 6 am
  • Avoid afternoon naps

Relaxing bedtime activities

  • Reading
  • Meditation/prayers
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Avoid electronics before bed

Comfort sleeping

  • Room temperature – between 18-20°C
  • Free from noise
  • Free from light
  • Comfortable mattress and pillows

 Waking up in between or trouble to sleep?

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking prior to bedtime
  • Exercise during the day time
  • Light meals for dinner – reduce carbs/sugars before bedtime
  • Avoid fluid intake 1 hour before bedtime
  • Avoid spicy food and caffeine before bedtime
  • Record your sleep pattern and speak to our Doctor about it

Make sleep a priority as it is important for both your mental health and physical health. Starts to plan the day and has the self-discipline to follow the right sleep routine. Most importantly, avoid trading your sleep with any types of activities.   


By Nutritionist Moga
Anna Hoo Clinic



Lichtenstein, GR. The Importance of Sleep. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2015 Dec; 11(12): 790