Every year, thousands of people make new resolutions, whether it’s to eat better, to rink less alcohol or to get in shape. Yet, most of us often neglect one of the most important part of getting healthier. Indeed, to be healthier and more productive, you need to sleep better, according to a psychologist at the University of Manitoba.
“Sleep plays an underrated role in our overall health,” says Brigitte Sabourin, a psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. “A lack of sleep has a lot of negative effects on our health. It affects our mood, our ability to handle stress, our motivation, our ability to learn, our ability to follow a healthy diet. In fact, a lack of chronic sleep is associated with several risks of mental and physical health problems.”
Brigitte Sabourin recalls the importance of adopting a routine to fall asleep. “We can not really control our sleep, but we can improve the conditions that will improve the chance to have a good sleep,” she says. She cites, as an example, the young children to whom parents give a bath and read a book. “It’s good to do things that relax our mind and body before going to bed. Like that, our body is ready and the conditions are maximized, “she adds.
She also suggests limiting her alcohol and caffeine intake before bedtime.
“Everyone should sleep between seven and nine hours a night, depending on the person. Everyone is different, “says Brigitte Sabourin.
She also suggests that people avoid making up for a bad night’s sleep by spending more hours in bed. “People, when they do not sleep well, try to compensate by sleeping more. If you want to have a deep sleep, you have to limit the time you spend in bed, she says. Our body is good for making associations. We want our body to associate the bed with sleeping [deep].