5 Tips for Better Sleep

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Do you have racing thoughts at bedtime or find yourself waking up throughout the night? If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone! Many Canadians struggle with getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, regularly missing out on sleep may increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, injuries, depression and even all-cause mortality according to Statistics Canada. The Government of Canada recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for those aged 18-64, or 7-8 hours if you’re over 65. To help you achieve this, we’re sharing 5 tips to help you wind down properly at bedtime and get a more restful sleep. 

1) Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before bed

You may think drinking wine in the evening will help you sleep better, but research tells us this isn’t the case. While alcohol before bed can certainly make you drowsy, it actually disrupts restorative REM sleep, causing you to wake through the night. Sip on herbal tea, which is naturally caffeine-free, instead of coffee or alcohol. If you’re hungry before bed, reach for a small snack with some protein.

2) Blackout your room

A pitch-black room is key to a great sleep. Invest in blackout curtains or a high-quality sleep mask made from breathable silk or nylon. Also try to avoid using blue light devices before bed and cover any small lights in the room, such as laptop charging cords and digital alarm clocks. As a bonus, covering your alarm clock will prevent you from checking the time if you wake up through the night, which can add to your stress.

3) Maintain a regular bedtime/waketime

Research suggests that irregular sleep patterns are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes and other poor health outcomes. Maintaining a routine also helps you feel sleepy at bedtime and more alert in the mornings.

4) Practice relaxation and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques

Along with building a bedtime/waketime routine, find a relaxing nighttime activity that will help you unwind such as:

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  • Knitting

  • Listening to a podcast, guided meditation, or audiobook

  • Reading a book

  • Journaling or writing down things you’re grateful for

  • Gentle stretches

You don’t have to carve out an hour or 30 minutes before bed (because really who has time for that?). Get in bed at least 15-20 minutes before you plan to sleep to allow yourself some quiet downtime. You deserve it!

5) Exercise regularly

If you’re sleeping poorly, getting more physical activity into your day could be a safe and effective remedy for insomnia symptoms, according to a recent systematic review of randomized controlled trials. For health benefits, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each week in bouts of at least 10 minutes and incorporate strength training at least 2 days per week. 

If you’re a shift worker, check out this helpful resource from Unlock Food. To speak with a registered dietitian, book an appointment online with us.

On Saturday June 8th KOPI is having an open house at our new location at 800 John Marks Ave. Visit us between 10am - 2pm! There will be:

  • Free swag

  • Lunch

  • Raffle to win an iPad

  • & lots more!

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Ryan Stallard