By Geraldine Ling
People who snore fall asleep first, an unknown wag once said. Whether spoken in jest or in all seriousness, one has to agree that sleep is a basic human need.
Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint here, said Dr Lim Li Ling, a consultant neurologist at the Singapore Neurology & Sleep Centre and president of the Singapore Sleep Society. Up to 30 per cent of people here will have had insomnia at any one time, she said.
However, while there are people who find it hard to sleep, there are others who suffer from excessive sleepiness, or hypersomnia.
Dr Lim said that hypersomnia is also a common problem here. It accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of her patients who seek help for sleep-related problems.
A 'voluntary' lack of sleep due mostly to a busy lifestyle is the usual cause of hypersomnia, she said.