Sleeping well is key for better health

If you made some new year’s resolutions for 2022, consider adding sleep to your list of goals. 

Committing to better sleep have long-lasting benefits on physical and mental health. Having a good night of sleep help you feeling well-rested on the next day, and can help you being more productive, feeling more focused and even being more creative.  

Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that Canadians are not getting enough sleep, and that lack of sleep impacts our quality of life. 

The good news is that there are simple and easy things that you can do to sleep better and have more energy.

Tips to improve your sleep: 

Improving sleep can help a person to manage better. Quality of sleep is directly linked to quality of life.  Many of these tips will seem like common sense. It is surprising how many of us have forgotten to follow these simple ideas to have a good night of sleep. Try to start using the following tips slowly each day to improve your sleep. : 

  1. Avoid caffeine for at least 8 hours prior to bedtime; and avoid alcohol at bedtime
  1. Avoid smoking – nicotine is a stimulant and can keep you awake
  1. Wind down for an hour before bed under low light: a warm bath or shower one hour before bed might help
  1. No electronics – the blue light from the screens keep you more alert
  1. Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy
  1. Create an appropriate environment for sleeping: keep your bedroom comfy, cool, quiet and dark
  1. Don’t use your bed for anything but sleep or sex
  1. Don’t lie awake in bed. If you are awake for more than 15 minutes get up and do a boring activity until you are sleepy before returning to bed  
  1. Don’t watch the clock. If worried about not waking to an alarm, set 2 alarms  
  1. Get out of bed at the same time daily with an alarm (YES this even includes weekends)  
  1. Don’t take naps during the day if possible. If you have to, limit them to 20-30 minutes max  
  1. Exercise as you are able – if possible, at least 30 minutes of exercise – 3 times per week  
  1. Don’t use the snooze button. You may feel like you are getting more rest, but it will not be the quality sleep you need. 

If you do make changes, you will likely awake feeling better the next day.  Remember: being consistent help make a habit, and that by making changes and sticking with them will have the biggest impact.  Some changes may have gradual effect that will grow over time.  It may take a couple of weeks to notice a difference, so keep at it! 

Read more about the benefits of a good night of sleep on this CBC article, and on this episode of The Nature of Things. 

Get Started with an OT  

Occupational Therapists help people with their activities of daily life—including getting more rest and better sleep.  
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.  

We are here to help you achieving your goals to live your best life. Contact us today!  


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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels