Modern medicine is starting to recognize the importance of understanding the science behind sleep. Sleep is a such vital part of our overall health and wellness, that you only need to lose a few hours of sleep to before you start to feel the effects of not getting enough. With so much new information being revealed about sleep, we wanted to share with you some interesting facts.

➢ Over 2 million Canadians have a sleep disorder.
➢ 1 out of every 4 Canadians has reported a sleep problem.
➢ 4% of men and 2% of women are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) before menopause. Post menopause the numbers become more equal.
➢ 60% of men over the age of 60 years snore.
➢ Over 200,000 vehicle incidents are reportedly caused by sleepiness and fatigue in the US and Canada.

How much sleep is enough?

➢ “Normal” human range is 5-10 hours per night, but numbers change depending on our age.
➢ So-called weekend binges of catch-up sleep indicate interrupted sleep during the week.

Sleep Hygiene is a medical term used to describe good sleeping habits that will often help you get better quality rest and relaxation that you need to forge through a tough week. Here are some simple tips to increase the effectiveness and your ability to harness a great night of sleep.

➢ Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule and stick to it. (Even on weekends)
➢ Avoid caffeine, especially afternoons and evenings if you are very sensitive.
➢ Don’t exercise during the evenings, but rather in the morning or during the day.
➢ Be careful of napping. If you need to take one, limit it to no more than 20 minutes.
➢ Avoid use of alcohol and nicotine as sleep aids.
➢ Use your bedroom for only sleep and sex, to avoid any associations with conflicting activities such as work or watching TV.
➢ Keep your bedroom cool and open the window. Studies show you will have a deeper more restful sleep.

What causes excessive daytime sleepiness?

There are many reasons why a person could be experiencing day time sleepiness, such as a new baby, a partner that snores, children waking up in the middle of the night, or even an occasional late night out with friends. However, if you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness and you don’t know why, there could be several reasons to look into the problem.

➢ Sleep Disorders which include:
• Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
• Central Sleep Apnea
• Mixed Sleep Apnea
• Insomnia
• Narcolepsy

➢ Poor Sleep Hygiene
➢ Shift Work
➢ “Other” disorder that affect sleep such as:
• Asthma
• Depression

Information provided in this article has been published to bring awareness to conditions that can effect sleep and shed light on possible cause. However, it is strongly recommended that if you suspect that you or someone else may have a sleep disorder, please make an appointment to speak with your family doctor. They will help you decide on the best possible course of action for your situation.