You might know her from TV, read about her in the news or even follow her on TikTok or Instagram @sgsupernanny. She has the amazing ability to transform zombies into sleeping beauties. For World Sleep Day, we are thrilled to interview Zoe Chu, also known as Sleep Supernanny.
She is a speaker, author, baby and adult sleep expert who is passionate about sleep and empowering women, especially mums, to be better versions of themselves. She does this by empowering tired families to get back their precious sleep using her simple, proven and effective holistic approach to fostering healthy sleep habits.
If her resume isn’t impressive enough, she is a wife and a mother of 4 (including a set of twins!) and she juggles it all with infectious positivity.
- How do you juggle between motherhood, entrepreneurship and getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night?
Time management is key. Truth be told, it’s never easy to juggle both motherhood and entrepreneurship. I am still a work in progress in this area. But everyday I tell myself there are 3 key components to a healthy life: sleep, diet and exercise (in that order). Without a healthy life, we can’t live and thrive well. So we need to get the foundation of our health strong before we can pursue the other important things in our lives.
And sometimes you need to remind yourself, it’s the quality not the quantity that counts.
- Singaporeans have been sighted as being amongst the most sleep deprived globally. Why do you think this is so?
We live in a society where we can work 24/7 and many think productivity is the way to survive in this fast-paced city life. Our modern day society has been treating sleep as simply time lost for other pursuits and it can be sacrificed to satisfy our busy lives and the never-ending to do list.
So like it or not, sleep deprivation is heavily glamourised and celebrated. That’s why all these phrases are so popular: ‘You snooze, you lose’, ‘ Time is money’, ‘ I’ll sleep when I am dead’.
That’s why I am on this mission to empower more tired adults out there to let them know about the power of sleep and why sleep should be the no. 1 priority in our lives.
I hope soon Singapore won’t be the no. 1 most fatigued country in the world but most well rested.
- How exactly does sleep help us?
Sleep impacts almost every area of our lives. When you get enough sleep, you can focus and concentrate better and be more productive.
Your mood improves and you have a more positive outlook on life. You have more energy. You have more patience and so your relationships are better.
You’ll have a stronger immune system and so you will get sick less often. You’ll also be healthier and be less at risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, stroke and even dementia. Sleep helps your whole body regenerate fresh new cells, getting rid of the bad cells and toxins in your body.
- What are your own personal sleep habits like?
I am a firm believer of “if you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk.”
I always let people know that 7-9 hours of sleep is what the National Sleep Foundation recommends for all adults. So personally I aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
Deep within our brain there is a master 24 hour internal clock and it expects regularity to help us anchor our sleep quantity and improve our sleep quality.
- Describe your first 90 minutes of the day.
I wake up, freshen up, give my kids hugs before they go to school, change into my gym attire, read my morning devotion to spend some time with God and pray, then go to the gym and spend 60 mins at the gym doing cardio and strength training. Then I will come home, shower and start getting my work done for the rest of the day.
- We are lying in bed at night with a million things on our mind. What is the best way to fall asleep / go back to sleep?
Good question! I love this breathing technique that I use it on myself as well when I have a million things on my mind. It’s called the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat the process a few more times and you will find that you are in dreamland very soon.
Counting sheep by the way doesn’t work! Try this out and let me know if it works well for you! Tag me @sgsupernanny on IG if it does.
- Quick-fire questions with Zoe Chu (choose one)