Sleep. Everybody needs it. Are you getting enough sleep for good health? According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, adults between 18 and 64 should be getting seven to nine hours a night, and those of us 65 and over should be getting seven to eight hours a night. However, one quarter to one third of Canadian adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and half of all adults report trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.
Good Sleep = Good Health
Poor sleep, both in amount and quality,has been linked to a range of healthissues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, depression, irritability and reduced overall well-being. Being tired is also a health issue, too. Almost a fifth of adults report feeling exhausted during the day, even after getting the recommended amount of sleep. You’re not alone if you’re not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep. The important thing to do is deal with it.
Get Your ZZZs
Getting good sleep requires good habits. Here are some sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation on how you can get a good night’s sleep every night. Get a regular bedtime and stick to it, even on the weekends. The same is true for waking. Our bodies like routine, and a sleep routine can help you get the rest you need.
Find a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to calming music or taking a bath or shower, find something that winds you down. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid napping the day. Napping can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night. Have a look at your bedroom and set it up for good sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, quiet and dark. Things like fans, blackout curtains, ear plugs and white noise machines can help make your bedroom a better place for sleep. Check your mattress, pillows and bedding. Is your bed comfortable? A good quality mattress can make a world of difference and should last about 10 years. Your pillows should be designed for how you sleep (on your back, side or stomach) and replaced when they are no longer comfortable.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and big meals before bed—all these things can negatively affect your sleep quality. Make sure any medication you take doesn’t have side effects related to sleep—your pharmacist and physician can help with that. Learn relaxation or stress relief techniques to help take your mind off the things that keep you up at night. Get off your devices. Screens can keep us awake, because they keep our brains alert. Before bed, disconnect. Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter will still be there in the morning.
If you can’t fall asleep, just don’t lie there. Get up and go into another room and do something you find relaxing until you feel tired.
There is Help
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t suffer. Speak with your doctor or find a sleep professional. They can help you source the problem and find ways to address it. There are sleep clinics in Regina that can help you track your sleep and locate the issue. Sleep is part of good health, so take care of yours.
BY FRESH YQR STAFF