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Resolve to get a good night’s sleep this new year

Improve sleep at night makes days more productive, says Nanaimo parks and rec columnist

BY TAMMY TOOR

Happy new year! Did you know that one of the biggest complaints from adults is their lack of sleep? According to Dr. Breus, a.k.a. ‘The Sleep Doctor,’ two-thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain their required amount of sleep every night. He suggests that most of us are chronically tired. If that sounds like you, how about starting the new year by trying to improve your sleep quantity and quality? Improved sleep could help you be more productive during the day, and think of how much more you could do in a year! Here are Dr. Breus’s suggestions for better sleep:

Know your bedtime and stick to it – Of all the sleep tips you have ever heard or read about, the most imperative one is to stick to one sleep schedule no matter what the day is. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. When sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync, and your body will perform better no matter what the task ahead is.

Eliminate caffeine early in the afternoon – caffeine has what’s called a ‘half-life’ of about eight hours. This means that its level is reduced but still somewhat effective in your system after this time. Caffeine is a stimulant; it can mess up the quality of your sleep or even prevent you from falling asleep.

Exercise – Of course, regular exercise keeps muscles and bones strong and maintains good cardiovascular health, but did you know that people who are active enjoy better sleep? Data shows that exercising will help you fall asleep faster and get you into a deeper sleep for longer which is likely to leave you feeling rejuvenated the following day.

Remember that parks and recreation has many programs to keep you active, healthy and sleeping better this winter season. Consider registering for one of our various yoga and fitness classes. For more information, check out our activity guide or visit our website at http://recreation.nanaimo.ca. The staff at parks and recreation wish you and your family a happy, healthy and active 2019!

Tammy Toor is a graphics and communications specialist with parks and rec.

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