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World Sleep Day - 2022


World Sleep Day was founded in 2008 and is celebrated annually on the Friday before the northern hemisphere vernal spring equinox. It is meant to recognize the importance of a good night’s rest for everyone. It is time to look at our night time routines and look at making adjustments that will allow us to have a better sleep.


The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get an average of 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. This number increases the younger we are. However, because of our busy schedules and stresses in our lives we don’t get a proper night’s sleep. Therefore, it is crucial we find the right balance in life so we can have a great sleep.


Having a sleep schedule that is consistent benefits the quantity and quality of our sleep by balancing our circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm is the internal process that functions to regulate sleep-wake cycle. It is a natural process that occurs every 24 hours. With the right rest and wake cycle we ensure our body restores and is ready for the day ahead.


Did you know that 30% of Canadians get less than 6 hours of sleep per night? Many of us power through the week and then try to catch up on sleep during the weekend. Which totally throws are body for a loop. Therefore, it is important get proper night’s sleep and here are some tips on how too:


Sleep Schedule

  • Go to bed around the same time each day including weekends

  • Set a schedule that gives you 7 – 9 hours of sleep

  • Suggest events be done earlier during the day so they don’t impact your sleep schedule

  • Put sleep time on your calendar to help you stick to the schedule

Exercising

  • Exercising allows us to reset our internal clock because most of our tissues and muscles are linked to our biological clock. Therefore, when work out, muscles respond by aligning our circadian rhythm.

  • Exercise also helps us sleep better because it promotes melatonin production.

  • It is best to get 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise a day in the morning or early afternoon

  • Because exercise can overstimulate our bodies don’t do it before going to bed. Do it three hours before

Relaxing

Stress produces more cortisol, the stress hormone and with higher cortisol levels the more awake we feel. Therefore, focusing on calming activities will help. Try some of these:

  • Yoga

  • Stretching

  • Meditation

  • Deep Breathing

  • Journaling

Napping

  • If your sleep cycle is out of whack then avoid taking naps as they can make it difficult to go to sleep at night.

  • Naps should be less than 30 minutes long

  • Nap before 3 p.m. so your nighttime sleep isn’t impacted

Food and drinks

Eating and drinking impacts our circadian rhythm because it turns out biological activities such as metabolism are closely linked to our circadian rhythm. Therefore, creating the right eating and drinking habits will allow us to sleep better:

  • Eat three hours before bed to give your body enough time to digest meal

  • Eating at the same time every day gets body used to a routine

  • Avoid heavy high-fat meals in the evening

  • Eat light snacks if you are hungry at night

  • Avoid coffee, tea, or energy drinks past mid-afternoon as the caffeine stimulates the body and takes several hours to wear off

  • Stop drinking water two hours before going to bed

  • Avoid alcohol before bed as it might make you drowsy but it actually disrupts circadian rhythm, making it difficult to sleep

Sleep environment

Our sleep environment should be conducive to sleep. Therefore, try some of these tips to get your environment ready for sleep:

  • Use heavy curtains to block out light and make room as dark as possible

  • Don’t use nightlights – when we are exposed to light our brain stops producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Darkness tells our brain to make more melatonin, so we feel drowsy

  • Comfortable bed and pillow

  • Make bedroom a tech-free zone

    • Banish all devices and screens because blue light on screens causes the body to produce less melatonin, interfering with the body’s sleep-wake cycle

    • Avoid working in the bedroom

    • Don’t watch TV in bed

    • Keep cell phones out of the bedroom

  • Keep temperature around 18°C/65°F

  • If you have a noisy room, try these

    • Use earplugs to drown out partners or outside noises

    • White noise is a soothing, steady sound that masks environmental noise and you can create it by using a:

      • Fan

      • Air conditioner

      • Humidifier

      • Air purifier

      • White noise machine




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