When people are feeling overwhelmed and busy the first thing that often gets compromised is sleep. In order to make up time we usually decide to get up earlier or in some cases we are getting to bed later. Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that adults between the ages of 18 – 64 sleep 7-9 hours per night and adults 65+ get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Smart watches that track our steps are now equipped to track our sleep. If we are honest with ourselves, how many people are getting the recommended sleeping hours regularly. How long we may be asleep does not mean we have had quality sleep. Half of Canadians are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. 1 in 5 adults are not waking up feeling refreshed, it’s no wonder 1 in 3 adults are struggling to stay awake during the day.
There are a number of reasons why adults are experiencing insufficient sleep.
- Sitting to often: being sedentary during the day for an average of 4 hours or more can cause sleep problems
- Chronic Stress: there is a higher percentage of adults that are experiencing chronic stress and reporting insufficient sleep
- Poor Mental Health: insufficient sleep is higher in adults who are struggling with poor mental health.
We tend to neglect the importance of a good nights sleep. Sleep is extremely valuable to our physical and psychological health as well as for the prevention of health problems. When including healthy habits in our lives we tend to focus on nutrition and exercise, which is critical but sleep is equally as important. If we neglect one of these lifestyle choices consistently than our health can be affected in the long run. If you are using a Fitbit to track your sleep than you may understand that our sleep is broken down into different sleep stages, as well as why each stage is necessary for a good nights sleep. Our bodies cycle through light sleep, deep sleep and REM multiple times through the night. Each stage of sleep has distinct restorative qualities and actually plays a role in how we perform the following day.
Health Sleep Habits:
- practice relaxation and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques
- exercise regularly
- establish a regular bedtime route
- avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime
- create a sleep environment that is peaceful and without blue lights and noise
- respect your biological clock (early bird or night owl)
- drink lots of fluid during the day but minimize how much you liquids you have in the evening
A good nights sleep can actually help you be more productive and give you the energy that you require to accomplish your daily tasks. Instead of cutting out an hour of sleep to get stuff done, try establish good sleep habits, get the required hours of sleep you need and you may be surprised at how you become more efficient at completely your daily to-do list. Is your place of work looking for inspiring and motivational health topics to support their employees? You can book one of my Online Webinar Training’s where I share healthy tips to help employees maintain their health, productivity and focus in today’s work environment.