<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=910941755778118&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Often confused with one another, the terms Insomnia and sleep deprivation are often used interchangeably. While both results in a lack of sleep, which can have a variety of side effects or negative health problems, knowing the difference between the two can help us better understand some of the things that can be done to put us back on track to getting nights of good quality sleep again. 

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can refer to the shortening or complete loss of sleep due to voluntarily imposed restrictions on your opportunity to sleep – for example, staying up all night to study for an exam or working a night shift. It can also refer to ongoing sleep loss, whether it be voluntary or otherwise. 

Depending on age, the recommended number of hours of sleep that a healthy human should be having every night will vary from person to person. See the chart below and find out if you’re getting enough sleep!


One becomes sleep deprived if they continue to sleep less than the recommended number of hours for a long period of time. Collectively, this lost sleep is known as ‘sleep debt’ and the more of it you incur, the harder it is to fix. 

Those who are sleep deprived have the power to change their sleeping habits and patterns to improve the amount and quality of sleep you get every night. This, however, isn’t necessarily the case for those dealing with Insomnia.


The term Insomnia is Latin for “no sleep” and refers to the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It’s also used to describe the condition of waking up and not feeling restored or refreshed, despite having had plenty of opportunity to sleep. 

The leading cause of Insomnia is chronic stress. In response to stressful incidents, the heart starts pounding, breathing quickens and muscles tense. This response, also known as the “fight or flight” response, can be elicited by a number of stressful situations, such as work deadlines, public speaking and even hearing or receiving rude comments. 

Those living fast-paced lives who find it difficult to hit the brakes on stress once in a while, are often put under constant levels of stress. The chronic low-levels of stress keep the body's fight-or-flight response activated and, in time, this has the ability to affect the body in ways that contribute to health problems, such as Insomnia.

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) lasting a few days or weeks. Insomnia can also be chronic (long-term) lasting months or even years, and can be associated with other medical conditions or sleep-related disorders. 

Unlike those suffering from sleep deprivation, individuals with Insomnia are experiencing a sleep disorder (or the symptom of a sleep disorder or other medical condition). This means that they are less voluntarily able to change their sleeping habits and may need to seek some form of therapy – whether that be cognitive behavioural therapy for Insomnia, sleep medications, a combination of both, or other alternative medicines.

Having trouble falling asleep at night?

Core Collective is home to over 100 of the best fitness & wellness professionals who can help you achieve quality sleep again. Click here for a list of the services available. 



Dr Verena Tan is an experienced dietitian with more than 15 years of diverse and well-rounded experience spanning clinical nutrition, academia, research and corporate work. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology.


Avantir Wellness is the only studio in Asia that houses the NovoTHOR Light Therapy Bed.

The NovoTHOR Light Therapy Bed uses PBM Therapy (Photobiomodulation) where red light and near infra-red rays permeate and stimulate right down to the body’s cells, which contribute to how well tissue/muscles/body can work and perform.



RealEase is founded by husband and wife, David Thoo and Rowena Choo. Their team of certified Spinal Flow Technique (Spinal Flow) practitioners includes Cwenn Rarnnie Goh.

Spinal Flow is a powerful yet gentle healing modality that facilitates healing via the nervous system and consists of light touches on specific areas of the spine we call access points without manipulation, popping or cracking. Spinal Flow facilitates a full rewiring of the brain and the body relearns what it already knew, to begin with — how to self-heal.