Sleep is something we all need. One third of our lives is spent sleeping. When we don’t get enough sleep, our productivity and behavior are affected. This impacts the quality of work we do, and the quality of our family and personal life at home. It affects our ability to get along and network with others, which is considerably diminished if we are “grouchy” from lack of sleep. Sleep also plays an important role in our personal health. Lack of sleep is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression. An estimated 3.3 million Canadians have problems going to sleep, and are considered to have insomnia.
Here are a few tips to help you get the sleep you need:
- Maintain a regular bedtime and wake schedule. This will keep your biological clock stable by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. A sleep ritual provides a signal to your body that it is time to sleep.
Create an environment conducive to sleeping. A dark, quiet, comfortable room helps establish conditions that encourage sleep.
- Limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can remain in the body up to 12 hours. Alcohol can also disrupt deep sleep, causing multiple night-time awakenings.