Sleep Disorders

Do you feel restless and groggy in the morning despite a full 8 hours of sleep? You may have poor sleep quality or a sleep disorder. Lack of sleep quality can be caused by lifestyle factors or underlying chronic conditions; if left untreated, it can affect your relationships, mental health, work performance and overall quality of life. 

What causes sleep disorders?

A sleep disorder is a condition that affects a person’s ability to get enough quality sleep. There are many different types of sleep disorders caused by different factors, but the most common ones in Singapore include; 

  • Insomnia
    This is a condition where an individual has difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
    This is a condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep, leading to poor sleep quality and fatigue during the day. 
  • Insufficient sleep syndrome
    Insufficient sleep syndrome, also known as sleep deprivation, is a condition characterized by consistently not getting enough sleep, which can lead to various physical and mental health problems. Individuals with insufficient sleep syndrome experience chronic sleep deficits, leading to daytime sleepiness, impaired cognitive function, mood disturbances, and increased health risks.

In Singapore, about 1 in 3 Singaporeans suffer from sleep disorders, and about 30% of Singaporean adults report having poor sleep quality. 

What causes sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders can be caused by a myriad of factors, including; 
Medical conditions

e.g. asthma, chronic pain, acid reflux

Mental health disorders

e.g. anxiety, depression

Lifestyle factors

e.g. poor sleep habits, irregular sleep schedule, excessive caffeine intake, use of electronic devices before bedtime, shift work


e.g. antidepressants, blood pressure medication

Sleep environment

e.g. noise, light, temperature, uncomfortable bedding


What are the symptoms of a sleep disorder/poor sleep quality?

Everyone goes through sleep problems from time to time – but if you experience the following symptoms regularly, it may be a sign that your sleep quality needs to improve: 
  • You take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep after getting into bed 
  • You wake up more than once a night 
  • It takes you more than 20 minutes to fall back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night
  • You spend less than 85% of your time in bed asleep – to track this yourself, we recommend wearing a sleep tracker in bed. If you have an Apple Watch, the Sleep app works fine. 
  • You have difficulty staying awake in the day 
  • You feel more irritable and moody than usual 
  • You experience lack of energy or motivation 
If you think you may have a sleep disorder, or simply just want a better night of sleep, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Who is at risk of sleep disorders
in Singapore?

Sleep disorders and poor sleep can affect anyone, but sleep disorders are more common in older adults and men. 

You are more prone to developing a sleep disorder if: 
You have a family history of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy
You suffer from medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression 
You work irregular or overnight shifts 
You consume caffeine or alcohol in excess 
You have a family history of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy

How are sleep disorders
diagnosed in Singapore?

As the causes of poor sleep quality are usually multifactorial, diagnosing your sleep disorder will require taking into account several aspects of your life. Here are some ways sleep disorders are treated in Singapore:

  • Sleep Diary
    To identify patterns in your sleep habits and provide insight into potential sleep disorders
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
    The MSLT measures the time you take to fall asleep during the day and can help diagnose narcolepsy and other disorders that cause excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Physical examination 
    To identify underlying medical conditions that could be causing sleep disturbances 
  • Blood tests
    To identify underlying medical conditions that could be causing sleep disturbances, such as anemia or thyroid disorders.
  • Sleep study 
    A sleep study, also known as a polysomnography, is a test that measures brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, breathing, and other body functions during sleep. This test is often used to diagnose sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing disorders.
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale
    A questionnaire that measures daytime sleepiness. 

At LMC, our sleep therapies include sleep studies and technologies like the CPAP machine to track your sleeping patterns. If necessary, we will refer you to specialists for more advanced care.

Why should we be
concerned if we have poor quality sleep?

If we have poor quality sleep or lack of sleep, it will impact multiple hormones that affect appetite and glucose regulation, thereby increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes etc.

Are sleep disorders lifelong? 

Absolutely not – poor sleep quality and sleep disorders are one of the most readily treatable health problems. With the correct diagnosis, intervention, and treatment, you can regain good sleep and your quality of life. 

Depending on your diagnosis, treatment can range from simple, effective lifestyle changes to cognitive behavioural therapy, medication and medical intervention. At LMC, we take a holistic approach and treat not just your sleep but overall wellbeing – this includes looking at your diet, physical activity, heart health and more through the guidance of a health coach.

Through our coaching programs, you get access to: 

Evidence-based health coaching

Individualised management plan

Coordination and scheduling of specialist referrals 

Personalised program tailored to your unique goals and preferences 

Your health matters to us. Contact us to find out more. 

Sleep Disorders


What are the 5 major sleep disorders?

The 5 major sleep disorders are restless legs syndrome, insomnia, REM sleep behaviour disorder, insomnia and narcolepsy.

What is the most common sleep disorder in Singapore?

The most common sleep disorder in Singapore is insomnia, a condition where a person has difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep despite having the opportunity to sleep. Around 10% of the adult population in Singapore suffer from insomnia.

Why can’t I sleep at night even though I’m tired?

If you feel tired but cannot sleep, it may be a sign your circadian rhythm is off, or other factors such as anxiety, depression, caffeine consumption and sleep disorders. 

Why are those at shift work at high risk of sleep disorder?

Those with shift work might have circadian disruption (as they are required to work or travel during the biological night) or short sleep duration (due to social or family matters) that cause them at higher risk of sleep disorder. Some interventions or gadgets can help you manage or improve sleep quality. 

Health is for everyone

Contact us for smart, evidence-based health coaching solutions that work.