father and sleeping baby

Trouble sleeping?
Do you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep?  Do you think your teens aren’t getting enough sleep or are sleeping too much? What do you know about being sleepless in Ottawa?

Sleep is essential for every human being. While scientists have figured out a lot about sleep, we still don’t understand everything there is to know about sleep. Every mammal, bird, reptile amphibians and fish require some sleep in order to function.  Even plants need a restful dark period in order to produce blooms. Here are some sleep facts you may not have heard of….

1.  Are you Sleepless in Ottawa? When you sleep your brain recharges, your cells repair themselves, your body releases important hormones, your body temperature and heart rate decrease. You also need a period of sleep to consolidate your memories – this is one reason why cramming all-nighters for exams is a bad idea. Even babies remember an event or an activity better after they nap

2.     We all need different amount of sleep depending upon our ages

Babies——————————————————————————— 16 hours
Children 3-12 yrs ————————————— 10 hours
Teens 13- 20 yrs —————————————- 10 hours
Adults 21 – 65 yrs ——————————–8 hours
Seniors  +65 yrs ——————— 6 hours or less

3.     Dreaming is an important part of sleep. Without dreams we don’t feel rested.  Men have dreams about other men 70% of the time. Women dream equally about men and women. 12% of people dream only in black and white.

4.     One in four couples sleep in separate beds. Some couples find sleeping in separate beds actually improves their relationship when they get a full night sleep. As many as 30-40 % of couples sleep in different beds. There are many reasons why couples may choose to have separate beds from working different work shifts, trouble sleeping, night restless, snoring or the need for different  room temperatures. Sleeping apart does not have to negatively impact your relationship.

5.     Animals sleep different lengths. Kolas, brown bats, and pangolins sleep 18 to 22 hours a day. While giraffes, roe deer and Asiatic elephants sleep 1.9 to 3.1 hours a day. Giraffes sleep for only 5- 10 minute increments. Talk about having a power nap!

6.     Dolphins have an incredible brain. When they sleep, only half of their brain sleeps. The other half stays awake to monitor their breathing cycles. Seems pretty important when you breathe air and live in the ocean.

7.     Do blind people dream in colour?  It depends on when they went blind. People who are born blind experience dreams involving their four senses, sounds, smell, touch and emotions. Those who went blind later in life still see images when they dream.

8.   What about our dreams? We remember our dreams most accurately just upon waking it up. If you want to remember your dreams remind yourself to do so before you go to sleep and night. Then in the morning quickly write down your dream as soon as you wake up.  5 minutes after waking up you’re already forgotten 50% of your dream. 10 minutes later its 90% disappeared.

9.   Sleep deprivation is harmful!  While some people see sleep as time wasted, we so desperately need our sleep.  Lack of sleep can lead to personally changes and negative health consequences.  These changes can be seen within as little as 10 days.

10.    Having trouble falling asleep?  There is truth to having a warm glass of milk before bed. Consuming alcohol will interfere with a good night’s rest. While we think a nightcap can help with falling asleep, alcohol can interrupt your sleep patterns.  Stop eating at least 3 hours before you sleep. Get the TV out of your bedroom and don’t allow a child or teen a TV in their room.  Prepare for sleep by starting to settle down and relaxing at least 30 minutes before you want to sleep. A cool room can help you get a better night‘s sleep. Black out curtains can help to keep light out which may prevent you from waking up  too early.

11.    Do you have trouble sleeping? If you or a family member has trouble sleeping or staying asleep or can never get up in time for work or school it’s time to talk with your family doctor. Sleep apnea is serious and can cause serious long term health problems. You can have your doctor refer you to a sleep clinic in Ottawa to find out what is happening or not happening in your sleep.

Sweet Dreams