Sleep a vital component of a healthy lifestyle

I read with alarm that Singapore leads the world in the percentage of kidney failures caused by diabetes, and that every two days, nine people lose the use of their kidneys ("Every 2 days, 9 lose use of kidneys"; Feb 19).

Although the Ministry of Health has urged everyone to lead a healthy lifestyle, there is another factor that, more often than not, slips under the radar and is given scant attention - sleep deprivation.

It is a fact that in the hustle and bustle of daily pursuits, many among us, including students and workers,go to bed late or give it a miss altogether.

It has been recognised by studies overseas that missing that precious downtime does more harm than good.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

Eating healthily, exercising regularly and having sufficient sleep comprise the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes.

Being a city that never sleeps has contributed to the rise of many chronic diseases here.

It is time for us to recognise this fact when tackling diseases such as kidney failure.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2017, with the headline 'Sleep a vital component of a healthy lifestyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe