Sleep is essential for both our physical and mental wellbeing. And yet, so many of us are sleeping poorly. Experts say adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to feel refreshed. In 2017, Statistics Canada released a report stating that one third of Canadians sleep fewer than the recommended hours.
Insufficient sleep not only leaves us tired, but it can also be linked to health issues such as weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. So what can we do to combat common sleep issues?
Limit Caffeine, Alcohol, Eating, and Liquids at Night
While we might love our afternoon java, it is not doing our sleeping patterns any favours. The stimulants in caffeine and alcohol can impair our sleep when consumed up to six hours before bed. Experts recommend sticking to decaffeinated coffee at night and limiting alcohol intake. Drinking too many liquids after dark might have you rising often to empty your bladder, and eating late at night can leave you feeling too full or make it uncomfortable to sleep.
Maintain a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Studies have shown that maintaining a consistent routine helps keep our sleep rhythms on track. As tempting as those weekend lie-ins are, it may be messing with your circadian rhythm. If you’re struggling to fall asleep on Sunday nights, try adjusting your weekend sleep to be more similar to your workday routine.
Create the Right Bedroom Environment
Temperature, noise, and light in your bedroom may be affecting your ability to fall asleep—and stay asleep. We all know how hard it can be on hot summer nights! Similarly, if your bedroom thermostat is set too high in the cooler months, it can impact your ability to sleep. Keeping your bedroom environment dark is also recommended for a good night’s rest, and if you are hearing traffic noise, consider using a fan or white noise machine. Try the Homedics Soundspa Enliven from London Drugs with eight soothing sounds and an auto-off timer to gently relax.
Consider a Sleep Supplement
Melatonin is a very popular supplement to help with falling asleep, and is often used to treat insomnia. Alternative options are Ginko-biloba, Magnesium, and Lavender. You can find a full range of sleep supplements at London Drugs.
Talk to an Expert
Visit a London Drugs location near you and speak to one of our friendly pharmacists who can provide expert advice on improving your sleep habits. Also, are you having trouble getting your baby to sleep? Read our Q&A with Baby’s Best Sleep for answers to some common questions. Sweet dreams!