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!  


Vancouver:  604.696.1066 


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels 

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23 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Develop healthier habits and reduce stress by trying Healthline’s goals. Make sure that you are realistic about what your goal entails so that you can effectively maintain the habit.

When choosing one of these goals, remember to make sure you plan them the SMART way.

  • Specific – Know exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – Track your progress.
  • Achievable – Outline the steps you will take to reach your goal.
  • Relevant – Ensure the goal fits in with your current and upcoming needs.
  • Time-Based – Choose a target completion date and set up check-ins along the way.

Get an OT’s Help

All of our OTs use goal-planning to develop effective and personalized treatment plans for their clients. Our OTs are university-trained and certified by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Many of our OTs have additional training in physical OT treatment, mental health, and goal-planning.

Contact us today if you or someone you know could benefit from goal-planning with an OT.


Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000

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SMART Resolutions

OT Works! takes the SMART approach to goal setting.  We help our clients clearly define their goals and put steps in place so that they can achieve them. Using approaches similar to ours, you can successfully maintain your New Years’ resolution.

Occupational therapy is goal-oriented. Our clients may want to bear a certain weight with their arms. They may work towards returning to work full-time. Perhaps, they want to be able to go about their daily routines as independently as possible. We use SMART goal-planning to make that happen. It is a popular technique that works for many.

If your goal is unrelated to the examples above, that is okay. Try this method out and maybe you will achieve your goal too.

Setting Up Your Goal


  • Your goal should be well defined and clear.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What am I trying to accomplish?
    • Why am I pursuing this goal?
    • Who is involved?
    • Where is my goal, or where will I work towards obtaining it?
    • Which resources do I need and which barriers do I face?
    • When will I start?  When will I meet my goal?


  • Know how far you are from completing your goal.
  • Ask yourself:
    • How much or how many do I need?
    • How will you know once you have achieved your goal?


  • Your support network can help motivate you so that you aren’t overwhelmed.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Are those people who can help me (such as friends, family, health professionals, and/or employers) aware of my goal?
    • What resources or support can they provide?

Realistic and Relevant

  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Do I have the resources, knowledge and support to achieve my goal?
    • Does my goal support my current or future needs?


  • Check that you have the right amount of time
    (not too much, not too little) to achieve your goal.
  • Ask yourself:
    • When will I aim to accomplish my goal?
    • What steps will I take along the way?
    • What can I do today?


Besides SMART goals, some therapists at OT Works! are trained in the Progressive Goal Attainment Program.  To deliver PGAP services, occupational therapists require additional training and a certificate.  PGAP is an evidence-based program that reduces the barriers of disability by specifically targeting the psychological and social obstacles clients face.  PGAP aims to increase a client’s quality of life and to assist them with their return to work.  If you would like to inquire further about PGAP, please contact

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