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Mon, Feb 15, 2010
AsiaOne
Worth losing sleep over sleep campaign: NTU undergraduates

I am proud to be 'Good in Bed', are you?

Before you shoot off about how this whole article is going to be sleazy, hear me out, or rather, hear them out.

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'Good in Bed' is a youth-initiated health campaign run by a group of fourth-year undergraduates from Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School Of Communication and Information as part of the team's final-year project. It was launched in November 2009.

The four intrepid students are Lum Aiyi Dawn, Choy Siew Woon, Ho Ying Yi and Nur Raihana bte Muhd Razali.

Supported by Simmons (SEA) Pte Ltd, the campaign was touted as the first-of-its-kind to tackle the problem of junk sleep amongst youths in Singapore through advocating sufficient hours of restful sleep through the responsible use of technology.

Team member Siew Woon, 23, talked about how losing sleep woke them up to the idea of looking into the problem of junk sleep and how it evolved into such a large-scale campaign.

What inspired you to start this campaign?

It all began last year, when we were losing sleep brainstorming for our final-year project. We wanted the project to be something close to our heart.

Then, we started to wonder why we were so tired and we put it down to excessive usage of technology, a problem known as junk sleep. We realised that there was no real campaign for junk sleep, especially targeted at youths.

Sleep was an issue grossly overlooked. So we decided to take it up as our project and make it fun and provocative enough to make people think.

How did your group to make it more fun and thought-provoking?

We decided the way to go was to go viral, to connect with youths online.

For example, we had teaser posters that were pasted all over the universities. These had the slogans, 'Good in bed, eight straight hours', 'I had my fantasies fulfilled' and 'I need to be satisfied'.

We used very tongue-in-cheek slogans that were provocative and fun, but we do explain what we mean.

We also approached the Youtube '10 Dares' series to do an episode on 10 dares with 'sleep' as its theme, to help publicise this campaign. We had a photo shoot where we asked for students to volunteer as models. We even made a Facebook account named 'Certified: good in bed' to help further publicise this campaign.

Plenty of things were triggered online as we wanted to connect with other youths through platforms and tools they use most often.

What did you learn while planning this campaign?

Junk sleep is dangerous and actually a pressing problem affecting many youths. Ironically, though, we lost a lot of sleep doing this campaign.

What were people's reactions to this?

Our campaign was rather well-received and many of the students liked the tongue-in-cheek approach to doing this.

The school administration, however, was caught in between. They knew that this campaign was for the benefit of the students, but they wondered if they should acknowledge the campaign as the messages might seem quite wrong at times.

What do you want to achieve with this campaign?

We want to make people aware of the problem of junk sleep. It is not to say that technology is bad, in fact, it is already an extension of our life.

However, the problem is knowing when to draw the line. People tend to attribute lack of sleep to school and work, but they neglect to notice that when they work late, they also play late, like insisting on getting an hour or two of instant messaging or watching television before they sleep even when they are tired.

This campaign is also about youth empowerment, to let youths know about the consequences - that two more hours of sleep is actually very important.

Can you describe in not more than five words your thoughts of the campaign?

Empowering, educational and provocative.

Reporting by Chow Yun Feng, AsiaOne intern

For more information, please go to www.goodinbed.sg.

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