Health Check Podcast: Is sleep customisable?

Some sleep studies recommend eight to 10 hours of sleep every night for a teenager. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle and there has been much interest in how we can sleep better in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up our daily routines, with so many people still working from home.


In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks to Professor Michael Chee, the director of the Centre for Sleep and Cognition at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. Prof Chee He has spent close to two decades studying sleep and its impact on cognition and behaviour.  

They discuss how the pandemic has affected sleep, the lessons learned from the last two years and the relevance of sleep targets set by the US-based National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:05 What has Covid-19 taught us about sleep?

03:39 Sleep targets set by US NSF - how relevant is it to Singapore?

06:27 Difference between self reported sleep and objectively measured sleep

09:24 Sleep targets and recommendations differ based on individuals

13:08 Effects of sleep habits on health

Produced by: Joyce Teo (, Ernest Luis, Fa'izah Sani and Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim and Fa'izah Sani

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