#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

    Hong Kong is currently facing several significant sleep-related challenges that warrant attention. Firstly, a notable concern is the high prevalence of inadequate sleep among adults and adolescents. The latest community survey conducted by CUHK included over 4,000 adults and revealed that 41% of respondents reported an average sleep duration of seven hours or less on their usual days*1. This falls below the general recommendation of the National Sleep Foundation, which advises adults to aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Disturbingly, adolescents also face similar issues, with a majority of them (94%) failing to meet the recommended nine hours of sleep per day. Furthermore, 25% of adolescents reported less than seven hours of sleep, and over half of them (58.4%) perceived their sleep as insufficient.*2
    Secondly, insomnia remains a prevalent sleep disorder in Hong Kong. Approximately one-third of the local population experiences symptoms of insomnia, while around 10% exhibit more frequent symptoms indicative of an insomnia disorder.*3
    Thirdly, a lack of awareness regarding the importance of sleep is apparent among the general public. While healthy eating and regular exercise are commonly emphasized as vital components of a modern healthy lifestyle, sleep health is often overlooked. In Hong Kong, only half of the individuals who slept less than seven hours recognized the significance of adequate sleep, alongside a mere 12% who would prioritize maintaining a regular sleep schedule *1. Additionally, seeking assistance for sleep problems remains uncommon, as half of those experiencing insomnia never seek help for their condition *4.
    Lastly, findings from a recent study comparing data from two large-scale sleep surveys conducted seven years apart (2011-2012 and 2017-2019) suggest a worsening trend in sleep health among adolescents. The study discovered that Hong Kong adolescents were sleeping 30 minutes later on weekdays, but waking up almost an hour earlier on weekends, and spending 30 minutes less time in bed overall. These changes have resulted in an escalation of sleep loss among the younger generation, indicating a concerning decline in sleep health over the past years. 
    Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder around the globe. The local prevalence, as mentioned, is between 10-30% depending on the illness definition. Multiple reasons can lead to insomnia and here are the common ones: 
    First: Suboptimal sleep habits, which include irregular sleep-wake schedule, excessive use of caffeine, excessive napping in the daytime, and exposure to a lot of artificial light at night before bedtime. With the increasing use of electronic devices, not only does the engaging content keep us awake, but the blue light also has an alerting effect and it suppresses the release of melatonin, a key hormone to prepare us for sleep. 
    Secondly, our sleep can be affected by both mental and physical health issues. Stress and worries can increase insomnia, and sleep disturbance is one of the hallmark features of many mental disorders. Certain medical conditions like chronic pain, acid reflux, heart disease or thyroid problems can also interfere with sleep. 
    Thirdly, the use of certain substances or medications can also affect sleep. This may include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, steroids and narcotics. Withdrawal from certain substances such as hypnotics, and alcohol can also lead to insomnia. 
    The first step to motivate a change in healthy sleeping practices often involves education and knowledge-building. We aim to increase public awareness about the importance of sleep health, to enable them to recognize when there is a sleep problem and know the ways to seek help. 
    The Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine is dedicated to promoting clinical practice, knowledge and training in Sleep Medicine in Hong Kong. We conducted regular meetings for health care professionals and webinars about common sleep problems for the general public. On World Sleep Day 15 March 2024, we’ve shared tips to tackle insomnia with RTHK-English News. (please name a few hereWe advised individuals with insomnia to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule, avoid too much caffeine, do exercise, and get sunlight exposure in daytime. At night, try to keep the bedroom nice and cool, dim the light in the room and prepare yourself to bed by some relaxing activity, do not bring work or technology to bed. and Nonetheless, we understand that public engagement requires continuous efforts and we will continue to work on that. 
    It’s important to have good sleep, if we don’t, in the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, attention, and memory, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and mental health issues. It is important to educate young people early, by integrating sleep-related health education into the regular school curriculum, and to have concerted efforts from school, parents, and government to facilitate a sleep-friendly lifestyle for the youngsters. The government should be proactive in terms of screening individuals with sleep problems and to provide appropriate care.
    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to and all of you who are listening. My song is: "Be Still" by Janice Vidal. Enjoy and Thank you.

    1) Data from the CUHK-HKJC Sleep well project: https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-launches-the-jockey-club-sleep-well-project
    2) Data from CUHK study: https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-survey-reveals-majority-of-school-teens-have-insufficient-sleep
    CUHK research team launched a 2-year programme participated by a total of 4,456 adolescents from 14 schools in Hong Kong.  The programme revealed that during weekdays, a majority (94%) of the participants did not acquire 9 hours of sleep daily as recommended by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, a quarter (25%) had less than 7 hours of sleep while more than half (58.4%) rated themselves as having insufficient sleep.
    3) Zhang J, Li AM, Kong AP, Lai KY, Tang NL, Wing YK. A community-based study of insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese children: Prevalence, risk factors and familial aggregation. Sleep Med. 2009 Oct;10(9):1040-6. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2009.01.008.
    4) Liu Y, Zhang J, Lam SP, Yu MW, Li SX, Zhou J, Chan JW, Chan NY, Li AM, Wing YK. Help-seeking behaviors for insomnia in Hong Kong Chinese: a community-based study. Sleep Med. 2016 May;21:106-13. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2016.01.006. 

    19/05/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    19/05/2024 - Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    03 - 05


    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society


    iu Vor, Vice President of Hong Kong Entomological Society


    Faride Shroff, the Founder and CEO of SENsational Foundation


    Simon Wong, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades


    Ryan Yeung, Founder and CEO, Happy-Retired Charity Action


    Erica Lee, Director, The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association


    Christina Lee, Director of Wofoo Social Enterprises

    Fiona Nott, CEO of The Women's Foundation

    Dear Hong Kong Community,

    When I spoke with you all two years ago, we were facing grim circumstances. COVID had caused separation and devastation, and it was unclear just how far its impact would extend and for how long. But now, thanks to the collective efforts and sustained hope of each and every one of you, we are looking out to new, brighter horizons.  

    Hong Kong aspires to take its place as a cultural powerhouse on a global stage – and there’s so much this city has to offer the rest of the world. However, before we can do so, we must address our rapidly ageing society and economic challenges fuelled by a persistent talent shortage. One way for us to meaningfully address some of these issues is through closing the gender gap.

    The benefits of gender equality are clear and long established: Happier families. Better business outcomes. A more robust economy. These benefits help everyone, regardless of gender.

    But our city is far from reaping the benefits of gender equality. Only 48% of women are in the workforce, this is lower than many of our neighbours including Singapore, Australia and Japan. Women are 10 times more likely than men to cite household responsibilities as a key reason for not being economic contributors. For every HK$10 earned by a man, women earn just HK$8.5. These are but a few of the numerous gender inequalities that continue to permeate areas such as safety, mental health, poverty, and career advancement, among others.

    What is preventing us from closing the gender gap?

    A key barrier to progress is zero sum thinking – where individuals believe that promoting the rights and opportunities of one gender will diminish and devalue another. A “you lose, I win” mindset.

    We know the zero-sum mindset is prevalent in Hong Kong: 38% of men and 52% of women believe gender equality is a women’s issue and men need to stay out of the way, and 47% of men and 29% of women believe women benefit most from a gender equal society.

    We need people of all genders to model inclusive mindsets, to ensure that the full constellation of diverse voices are heard and valued. To ensure there are equitable opportunities, policies, and distribution of resources.  

    And while government and businesses all play a part in making this happen, none of this change is possible without individual action and buy-in. So how can we each #InspireInclusion this IWD? Here are three ways to start:

    1.     Learn about the issues. Understand how gender inequality harms people of all genders and what forms this can take. Look at how this issue intersects with, and is complicated by, other identity factors such as race / ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, ability, religion, socio-economic background and more.

    2.     Talk about it. At work and at home talk about how the zero sum mindset might unintentionally show up. For instance, the misconception that if a male colleague advocates for gender equality at work it may negatively impact their own career or the misbelief that if a woman takes on more responsibilities at work, it will negatively impact the well-being of their family at home. Explore pushback or resistance to the idea that gender equality benefits everyone and share ideas on how best to tackle this.

    3.     Do the work and be an ally. Commit to listening, learning and acting. Use gender inclusive language. Refrain from phrases, jokes or cultural references that perpetuate stereotypes about any one gender.  Actively intervene when you hear someone else perpetuating stereotypes. Help others see the benefits of gender equality.


    These are just a few of the many, many actions each of us can take. 

    I know this is no easy task. Reflecting on our own internalised biases and assumptions and then taking action to address these areas is challenging, ever-evolving work at an individual, organisational and societal level.

    As CEO of The Women's Foundation, I know an inclusive, gender equal city is possible. I have seen first-hand the exceptional results that follow when individuals and organisations put in the effort to understand how gender inequality harms people of all genders, determine where they might be perpetuating biases and take initiative to change.

    Our Mentoring Programme and Male Allies communities are inclusively leading in their companies and in our community; our Young Allies are influencing the next generation of gender equality advocates; and our Girls Go Tech Programme participants are not just ensuring future STEM fields are more gender equal, they will be working to solve some of the most challenging issues of our time. 

    The work of each of us – as individuals, organisations, communities – matters. And when our efforts are combined, the results are transformational.

    Join us to #InspireInclusion this International Women's Day and take steps for a gender equal future through your words and actions.

    I'd like to dedicate this song to the women and girls of Hong Kong – and all gender equality advocates. The song is In debt by a local band Riddem.






    03/03/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    03/03/2024 - Fiona Nott, CEO of The Women's Foundation