According to a Canadian health study, Canadians aged 18 to 64 years slept an average of 7.12 hours per night. Bad news, because the benefits of restful sleep are multiple: better heart health, reduced stress, improved memory and weight loss.
Stop consuming too much caffeine or taking excessive naps and use our tips to help you get the sleep you need to manage your health.
Develop a sleep routine
It’s tempting to sleep until noon on Saturdays, however, this will only disturb your biological clock and cause more sleeping disorders. Going to bed at the same time every night helps to set your body clock.
Researchers at Northwestern University’s Department of Neurobiology and Physiology reported that sedentary adults who exercised four times a week improved their sleep quality from poor to good. They also found that these patients had fewer symptoms of depression and less drowsiness during the day.
Avoid foods and beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Eat a light meal in the evening, and finish it a few hours before going to bed. Avoid spicy or heavy foods, which can keep you awake.
Smokers are more likely to feel less rested after a full night than non-smokers. Smoking also increases sleep apnea and other breathing problems such as asthma.
Alcohol affects the sleep cycle. You might feel drowsy after a drink but you may wake up tired. Remember this is only a sensation.
Keep your electronic devices away from your bed
A National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey found that most participants used an electronic device (TV, computer, video game or cell phone) at least one hour before going to bed. The light from the devices stimulates the brain, making it harder to sleep. Put your devices away an hour before bedtime to fall asleep faster and get better sleep.
Keep your bed cool
A temperate room is ideal. By finding a balance between the thermostat and the bedsheets, you will lower your body temperature and fall asleep faster and deeper.
Turn off the light
Light tells your brain it’s time to wake up, so make your room as dark as possible. Even a small amount of ambient light from your mobile phone or computer can disrupt the production of melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles).
Use your bed only for sleeping
Your bed must be associated with sleeping. If you wake up during the night, don’t turn on your laptop or television and relax until you feel sleepy again.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, these simple adjustments can contribute to a more restful night.