By: Samantha deCastro
If I were to ask how many of you reading this got insufficient sleep, about 35% of you would raise your hands. According to the 2005 General Social Survey, men sleep significantly fewer hours per night than women. In comparison, women are more likely to have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
According to Statistics Canada, from 2007-2013, adult Canadians averaged 7.12 hours of sleep/night. This is on the tail end of the recommended 7-9 hours a night.
You may be asking, “Why is that many hours needed? I function fine, I can sleep 4 hours and still go about my days!”
It is true that each of us has a certain number of hours that is optimal for sleep. Some need less, some need more. But what is more important is the QUALITY of the sleep we are getting, not necessarily how many hours we spend laying in bed. We need the proper sleep cycles to happen in order to get the benefits out of each, and even though you may be functioning at what seems a high level, there could be benefits you’re missing out on. And when we are deprived, our risk of chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease goes up.
In this series we will discuss why you may not be sleeping well, the all-important sleep cycles and what happens in each, as well as what you can do to improve you sleep hygiene!