One third of Canadians sleep less than six hours a night. You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But research shows that insufficient sleep affects both your health and your work. Here’s how:
- Brain freeze: Your ability to think, learn and retain new information is powered by sleep. Not getting enough also reduces your ability to focus, think critically, problem-solve and retain information — all of which can reduce your productivity at work and home.
- Depression: Lack of sleep has a strong influence on mood and has been linked to playing a role in depression. Not sleeping enough leaves you feeling irritable, causing increased anger and stress in your day-to-day life.
- Poor health: Along with the more immediate side effects of not getting enough sleep like exhaustion, a lack of proper sleep poses a higher risk for developing long-term health conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
- Aging skin: Beauty sleep is a real thing! Without enough rest the body releases cortisol, the stress hormone that also breaks down skin collagen, reducing skin elasticity and smoothness. Chronic sleep loss can lead to fine lines and dark circles under the eyes.
- Weight Gain: The saying you snooze you lose actually has some truth to it. Research shows that those who are sleep-deprived may be three times more likely to gain weight.
These reasons, and more, are why experts recommend practicing good sleep habits, including maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake time; sleeping in a cool, dark room; avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and screen time in the evening and developing a sleep routine.
Taking a natural sleep aid 30 minutes before bed can become part of an improved sleep routine. Look for one that contains melatonin, GABA and 5-HTP, which help you fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed, like Dream Water. It’s a prescription-free alternative to many over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids that are often associated with negative side effects.
Always speak to your doctor before starting a new health care regimen.
Find more information and healthy sleep tips at www.dreamwatercanada.ca.