We spend almost a third of our lives asleep, and yet this part has always been shrouded with mystery to men. Curious to find out more about how I was actually sleeping at night, I recently tried out the Philips Alice NightOne device for myself. The machine was pretty easy to set up on my own; I just had to strap it around my chest, and tape a couple of wires around my arm and a small segment below my nostrils. I was initially worried that I’d feel uncomfortable, but to my surprise, I hardly noticed the device or wires, and drifted off to sleep like any other night.
Once my results were in, I met up with Dr. Rajveer Singh Saren, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Pantai Hospital Klang, to get his insight into my sleeping patterns. According to Dr. Rajveer, overweight or obese individuals are more likely to experience sleep apnea; he keyed in my details and explained that my BMI was ideal for my weight. So how did I sleep for the rest of the night? “You were probably asleep for a total of six hours and 35 minutes. What I’m more curious about is your Apnea–Hypopnea Index (AHI). It refers to the number of times a patient may stop breathing or experience reduced breathing during sleep,” he said. After going through my results, he announced that they were pretty normal and I had nothing to be worried about. “The great thing about the Philips Alice NightOne is that it even tells us the positions patients are sleeping in, and the sleep quality they experience [in those positions],” he pointed out. “For you, you experienced disturbed sleep when you were on your back. When you were on your side, you had very minimal events. It’s because when you lean back, your tongue falls back, resulting in a drop of oxygen levels which affects sleep.” He concluded that I didn’t really have anything to worry about and gave me a healthy sleep prognosis.
During our chat, Dr. Rajveer also shared three things you can do to get better sleep each night:
1. Don’t Use Your Smartphone At Night
Your smartphone emits a bright blue light that inhibits melatonin production and keeps your mind active, Dr. Rajveer says. The hormone melatonin plays an important part in aiding you to fall asleep. “Your body’s melatonin levels are highest at night – that’s when it’s secreted. It drops naturally when it becomes morning,” he explains. “But when you’re overexposed to blue light, it delays your sleeping time and shifts your sleep cycle.” His suggestion: don’t use your smartphone 30 minutes before bedtime.
2. Make Your Bedroom Comfortable
Here’s what your bedroom should really be used for: “The bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex,” Dr. Rajveer says. The environment you doze off in has a key role in your sleep quality. “Your room shouldn’t be too cold or too warm – you don’t want to sweat when you sleep,” he adds. “Lighting is important too. Try to go for either no light, low light or dim light.” He also recommends purchasing a good mattress and pillows to aid sleep.
3. Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol Before Sleep
Steer clear of caffeine before bedtime, Dr. Rajveer says. “Anything that contains caffeine such as tea or coffee are stimulants – they affect neurotransmitters in the brain and make you more alert,” he explains. “When this happens, the neurotransmitters that are supposed to help you sleep end up making you more awake instead.” Forget the old misnomer that alcohol can help you sleep too. “A lot of people think that because alcohol is a depressant, it helps induce sleep. Although this is true, alcohol can cause you to experience multiple awakenings once it’s metabolised in your body,” he says.
For further information on the Philips Alice NightOne, please click here.