Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Sleep and Singapore

Woah, I am getting way behind on my Golden Week post. But, due to health reasons, I had to go back to Singapore over the weekend.

Now MEXT scholars (and other people living/considering living in Japan), I'm not saying that the Japanese healthcare system sucks. Far from it. It works well about 90% of the time. With the national health insurance, I normally pay quite little and I get medicine and healthcare that works (although figuring which clinic to go to, and when it opens can be a real pain).

But for serious illness (like this, where I vomited for one to two months), it tends to fail. For one thing, my doctor thought I was bulimic and wanted me to go to a mental health clinic. I'm guessing that the misunderstandings came from:

- Language barrier. I do well in conversational Japanese, but let's face it, there are a lot of medical terms I don't know
- Different ways of diagnosis. My parents suggested that Japanese healthcare may be different because Japan has a very different lifestyle (dietary and otherwise) from us.

Anyway, I flew back to Singapore (more on that in another post) and after visiting a few specialists, found out that my problem was: poor sleep patterns. (Thankfully it wasn't hyperthyroidism or some hormonal problem)

I go to be really early, but for some reason, I tend to wake up two or three times a night. That means I don't get the uninterrupted sleep that I need. For the record, my neurologists says that we need at least five hours of good rest per night.

Here's a creative common's picture on the effects a lack of sleep can have on us.

Personally, what I ended up with was fatigue, an ever-worsening stamina, migraines, vomiting (although it appears the vomiting is linked to the migraines) and irritability (I'm not sure how well I hid that last one).

Right now, I have about 8 boxes of medicines, half of which are meant to adjust my sleep cycle back to normal over a period of four months.

So to repeat, sleep is important. Make sure you get enough shut-eye. Don't be like me and end up having to miss school and spend loads of money to get well. People weren't joking when they said 'health is wealth'.

And that ends this PSA (can this count as a PSA?).