Getting a Better Sleep

A good sleep impacts many aspects of your life. Learn about the benefits of getting a good sleep and ways to help you improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Mental Health
young woman trying to sleep

Benefits of Sleep

Memory and Learning

Sleep plays an important role in forming memories, problem-solving and learning. In fact, getting enough sleep can increase productivity more than spending extra time studying!

Feld, G. B., & Diekelmann, S. (2015). Sleep smart-optimizing sleep for declarative learning and memory. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 622.

Immune System

Trying to avoid catching a cold? Get more sleep! Sleep helps our immune systems function and makes it less likely we will get sick.

Besedovsky, L., Lange, T., & Born, J. (2012). Sleep and immune function.
Pflugers Archiv: European journal of physiology, 463(1), 121–137.

Heart Health

Consistently getting a good night's sleep may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. If you don’t get enough sleep all the time, that’s okay! When we build healthy sleep habits over time we build healthy habits for our heart.

Heart & Stroke Foundation. (n.d.). Sleep
https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart-disease/recovery-and-support/emotions-and-feelings/sleep 

Mood

Getting enough sleep can help our well-being by reducing stress and irritability. While sleep affects our mood, our mood also affects our sleep. If you have been practicing good sleep hygiene and are having trouble sleeping, or if you are concerned about your mood, we are hereto help. You can access medical support and counselling at the Health & Wellness Centre or check-in with one of our Wellness Coaches.

GetSleep (n.d). Sleep and Mood. Retrieved July 2020, from
http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood 

Ten Tips to Get a Better Sleep

  1. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
    Too much caffeine late in the day can disrupt your sleep.
  2. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
    Alcohol too close to bedtime can also disrupt your sleep.
  3. Take time to unwind.
    Try reading, meditating, music, a bath/shower, and/or limiting screen time before bed.
  4. Exercise a few hours before bed.
    Regular exercise can help you achieve deeper sleep.
  5. Follow the same routine.
    Keeping the same sleep/wake schedule every day helps your body get into a routine.
  6. Avoid naps if you experience sleep problems.
    If you do take a nap, try to keep it it to 30 minutes or less.
  7. Avoid going to bed too hungry or too full.
    Consider a light snack if you're still hungry just before bed.
  8. Get up if you don't fall asleep within half an hour.
    Leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Go back to bed once you feel drowsy.
  9. Make your bedroom comfortable and only use it for sleep.
    That way, you'll associate your bedroom with sleep.
  10. Challenge the belief that you can't function without a perfect night's sleep.
    This can lower anxiety and help you to fall back asleep.

Commit to Getting a Better Sleep

If you want to up your sleep game, use this sleep tracking worksheet to monitor your progress.