Are you among the one in three Canadians who, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, don’t get adequate sleep on a regular basis? If so, your health is likely affected as well, whether it’s surfacing in the form of weight gain, headaches, mood swings or trouble focusing. Read on for more about how sleeplessness impacts you as well as what you can do to enjoy sounder sleep.
Dangers of Routine Sleep Loss
The list of factors that can contribute to temporary or long-term insomnia is lengthy, ranging from stress and environmental factors to prescription drug side effects or too much caffeine. Then there are emails, texts, social media and on-demand entertainment that constantly vie for our attention. (Netflix binge, anyone?) Narrowing down the cause of your sleep loss is the first step toward a restful slumber.
How to Get More Zzzs
Sleep is a necessity, and health experts recommend between seven and nine hours every night. How do you ensure you get that routinely? A few simple adjustments to your daily schedule can go a long way.
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood each day.
- Avoid eating heavy foods within two hours of bedtime, and keep your caffeine in check. Experts say it can affect sleep 10 to 12 hours after consumption.
- Spend some time winding down. That means turning off the TV, cellphone and tablet. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate or read a book to relax.
- Maintain a routine sleep schedule, even on the weekends. It can help set your body’s internal clock.
- Make sure your bedroom is a peaceful, comfortable getaway that’s dark, quiet and cool — three characteristics found to help encourage sound sleep.