Fact #1: 60% of Canadians are sleep deprived. The average person gets 6 hours or less each night.
Fact #2: Sleep deprivation not only sparks short-term symptoms such as fatigue, poor memory and a lack of energy, depression, and anxiety; but, it also significantly increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Successful Sleep Habit #1: Eat And Drink The Right Things
- Avoid high sugar content foods including juice, dry fruit, and tropical fruit
- Watch your caffeine intake and avoid it all together after noon if you have troubles sleeping
- Eat foods that fill: healthy proteins and fats such as fish, nuts, avocado and vegetables
- Be aware of how alcohol affects your sleep. Although it can help you fall asleep, most people sleep poorly when they have consumed alcohol.
Successful Sleep Habit #2: Maintain An Effective Circadian Rhythm
- It’s recommended that we sleep around 7-9 hours a night.
- The average sleep cycle for any individual is approximately 90 minutes, and we require around 5 of these 90 min cycles each night. When calculated this works out at around 7.5 hours per night.
- Start from your ideal wake-up time and work backwards 7.5 hours; that’s the time you should go to bed. Where feasible, stick to these specific times in the future, even on weekends.
Successful Sleep Habit #3: Get as much Daylight as you Can
- Sunlight has a positive impact on your circadian rhythm, keeping the mind fresh and awake when it really needs to be.
- Exposure to light sets our circadian rhythm – basically the clock that releases hormones to help us feel energized during the day and hormones that allow us to fall asleep and stay asleep all night.
Successful Sleep Habit #4: Switch Off
- Turn off all sources of electronics and LED light – smartphones, tablets, laptops, all of it!
- The blue LED lighting behind our screens can suppress the production of melatonin (the sleep inducing hormone that helps regulate our sleep/wake patterns) and delay falling asleep up to two hours!
Successful Sleep Habit #5: Sleep In The Best Environment
- According to the Sleep Foundation, the optimum temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees. This is due to the rise and fall of our body temp throughout the day and night.
- Our body temperature dips as we fall asleep and increases early hours. If your bedroom is too hot, you’ll wake up hours earlier than you should.
- Make sure you have a supportive mattress, fresh pillows, a dark room and a clean, tidy, clutter free environment
Successful Sleep Habit #6: Exercise Early
- Studies have found that those who exercised at 7am as opposed to 7pm had a better quality of sleep, of which 75% was spent in a deep sleep.
- 7am workouts appear to reduce blood pressure throughout the day, leaving you relaxed and ready for sleep in the evening.
Successful Sleep Habit #7: Read
- According to a recent study, 6 minutes reading time is all it takes to reduce the heart rate and tension in muscles and help you relax.
Have a great sleep
Dr. Heidi Rootes