You look tired, Canada. Have you been getting enough sleep lately?
Data shows that Canada, as a country, is not sleeping well. About a quarter of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 aren’t getting enough sleep. Meanwhile, a third of Canadians aged 35-64 aren’t getting enough sleep. In fact, we are the third most sleep-deprived nation in the world.
The good news is that most of the things that keep us awake are completely controllable. Here are a few of the most common issues, and what you can do about them.
Canada has a major sleep apnea problem, with over 5.4 million Canadians diagnosed with it and experts estimating that the problem is 80% under-diagnosed.
Of course, the people who suffer from sleep apnea aren’t the only ones who suffer. Their partners and family members are often kept awake by the loud snoring noises.
The shape of your face or nose may mean you’re likely going to have issues with sleep apnea. However, being overweight remains the biggest cause.
What to Do About it
The most important thing you can do is not accepting sleep apnea as simple snoring.
You should talk to your doctor. They can recommend a number of solutions like sleep masks or medications to help you (and your loved ones) get the rest you need.
Old and Worn Out Mattresses
The quality of your mattress heavily influences the quality of your sleep.
A lot of Canadians hold onto their mattress for too long because they assume replacing it will be an expensive hassle. Experts say you should replace your mattress every eight years. However, many of us will use the same mattress for a decade or much, much longer.
What to Do About it
You do not need to spend a lot of money to get a quality mattress. You can start right now by seeing why Canadians love this mattress and how much you can save. Skip the retail stores and buy a high-quality mattress online right from the manufacturer.
Whether it’s at a desk at work, in traffic on the way home, or in front of the TV, Canadians spend a shocking 10 hours a day sitting. That’s bad!
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, or even cancer. However, it has also been linked to sleep problems.
It’s hard to get out and get active in Canada with the temperatures on the wrong side of freezing for five months of the year. Motivation levels can also take a hit when the sun goes down at 4:30 p.m.
However, it’s important that you don’t go into hibernation mode over the winter months. This is when it’s even more important to try to get some exercise every single day.
What to Do About it
Know the challenges that our dark and harsh winters can pose to your health and your sleep. Make it a point to join a gym or rec sports league… and actually go!
Or, take up an outdoor winter sport like skiing or snowboarding. That way you will actually look forward to heavy snowfalls. These winter sports can help you in two ways. Firstly (and most obviously), you’re getting out of the house and getting much-needed physical activity.
It also gives you something to look forward to on the weekends, as you plan your excursions or ski getaways. This can have a big psychological effect, as people who feel low over the winter often feel like there is nothing to look forward to until the spring.
Caffeine and Alcohol
As a Canadian, you have to put up with stereotypes surrounding our beer and Tim Horton’s consumption. However, to be fair, we do drink an average of three cups of coffee a day. We also consume the 13th highest volume of beer of any country in the world, despite only ranking 39th for the largest total population. So yeah, we like coffee and beer.
However, too much of either can lead to sleep problems. Too much coffee during the day (or too close to bedtime) can keep you up at night. Meanwhile, too much beer can help you feel sleepy but lead to problems entering the full REM sleep that your body needs.
Yes, Canada is a very sleepy country. But we don’t have to be! We have some of the world’s best access to healthcare, gyms/ fitness centers, and high-quality mattresses. The crucial part is making the decision to make your sleep and your health a priority.
You will be amazed at how much better you feel!