Canadians Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep!
Did you know that roughly 10-13% of Canadians meet the criteria for insomnia disorder?
We also note the following stats from the Public Health Agency of Canada:
So, What Does This All Mean?
Short-term consequences of poor sleep can include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Irritability, lack of patience, stress
- Difficulty focusing and staying attentive
- Increased appetite and likelihood of poor food choices
However, we see that there are longer terms risks, especially with individuals struggling with insomnia disorder. The following are comorbidity rates of insomnia and other health conditions.
- Diabetes – 22%
- Cancer – 23%
- Anxiety – 31%
- Stroke – 29%
- Ulcers – 28%
- Asthma – 21%
- Migraine – 26%
- Arthritis – 24%
- Blood Pressure – 19%
- Heart Disease – 26%
- Back Problems – 23%
- Mood Disorders – 37%
How Are These Difficulties Costing Canadians?
In the workplace, insomnia places a huge burden on the employer and the employee.
- Annually, there is a cost of over $5,000 per person per year.
- There is an increase in presenteeism. Roughly 5 weeks of work is lost per year versus 3 days for a good sleeper.
- There is also an increase in absenteeism. Roughly 1 week of work is lost per year due to insomnia versus 0.3 days for a good sleeper.
- Furthermore, workplace accidents are 2 times higher versus a good sleeper. (This doesn’t include driving accidents).
- Public Health Agency of Canada (2019). Are Canadian Adults Getting Enough Sleep?
- Sleep On It (2019). Why Sleep?
- M, T., Insomnia. Health Reports. Statistics Canada. Catalogue 82-003, Vol. 17, No. 1.
- Daley, M., et al., The economic burden of insomnia: direct and indirect costs for individuals with insomnia syndrome, insomnia symptoms, and good sleepers. Sleep, 2009. 32(1): p. 55-64.
It Is Important to Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene
Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Try to wake up around the same time each day.
Establish a bedtime routine
Create a wind down schedule and follow it roughly the same time each night. For example, take a bath, do your skincare routine, brush your teeth, read a book, turn off the lights.
Reduce screen time before bed
Try and shut down electronics (phone, tablet, TV, etc.) 30 minutes before bedtime.
Incorporate daylight into your waking up routine
Natural light will help regulate your biological clock.
Exercise and Diet
Consistent exercise schedule will be helpful for sleep. Reduce caffeine, alcohol and large meals before bed.
Create a comfortable sleep environment
Make sure your area is nice and dark. Keep the temperature on the cooler side. Have items that help you relax and wind down such as comfortable blankets, night eye mask, etc.
- Dr. Jeffery Habert (2021). The Impact of Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation in the Workplace
There Are Various Forms of Support and Treatment Options for Troubles With Sleep
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is a non-medication approach to getting your sleep back. Using certain strategies, CBTi shows users how to break habits and form new, healthier ones.
There are 5 components of CBTi;
- Sleep Hygiene
- Relaxation Therapy
- Sleep Restriction
- Stimulus Control
- Cognitive Therapy
These techniques are used over several weeks to help create a better sleep environment and routine. It will also help with your thoughts and emotions when it comes to sleep.
Various forms of CBTi can be completed by the user. Either online, in person, in a group setting or self-guided.
For more information on CBTi, please visit: mySleepwell.ca.
Pharmacological options can be used alongside of CBTi for faster results.
Sleep hygiene recommendations alongside medication is also a very common form of treatment.
Be mindful when taking certain medications. Some side effects may include:
- Daytime sedation
- Memory and motor deficits
- Tolerance, dependence
- Rebound insomnia
There are new sleep medications however that work by decreasing excessive wakefulness in individuals struggling with insomnia.
It is important that when considering medications, individuals should always consult a primary care provider.
When to Talk to Your Doctor?
Sleep troubles are causing serious disturbances in various parts of your life:
- Behavioural (Relationships)
- Experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness
- New or worsening of anxiety or depression
- My Sleepwell (2020). What is CBTi?
- Toward Optimized Practice. Assessment to Management of Adult Insomnia Clinical Practice Guidelines. Alberta. December 2015.
- Sateia et al (2017). Clinical Practice Guideline for the Pharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Adults: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
- Dr. Jeffery Habert (2021). The Impact of Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation in the Workplace.