The Torment of Sleepless Nights

By Audrey Vijaindren

IT'S been a long and tiring day. There's only enough energy for a shower before plunking yourself on the bed. But what happens when sleep is the last thing that comes to you? AUDREY VIJAINDREN learns that an unhealthy lifestyle may be the reason sleep disorders are creeping into Malaysian bedrooms.

Reading and hot showers may help some people wind down before getting that much-needed sleep.

But for many others, it's impossible to get some shuteye, no matter how much hot milk they drink. For these night owls, sleep is a luxury they rarely enjoy.

"Sleep disorders are so common these days, it's a big problem in many houses. Our lifestyle is mainly to blame," says Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia Sleep Laboratory coordinator, Dr Baharudin Abdullah.

"More and more Malaysians are bogged down with work and family problems. It's impossible to have restful sleep.

"Depression is another reason this ailment is on the rise. People may think sleep problems are not as bad as other sicknesses, but that's not the case."

He says an average working adult must have eight hours of sleep but many people are only getting half of that. And children are also sleeping less because of electronic gadgets and gizmos in their bedroom.