February 25, 2016
By: Aaron Arkin
In order to be alert and productive throughout the workday, it is critical to regularly get a good night’s sleep. However, there are so many factors at play that are making it more and more difficult for people to either fall asleep, or stay asleep throughout the night. Some of these factors include the omnipresence of technology, mounting stress levels and an ever increasing sedentary lifestyle.
On average, adults require 8 hours of sleep at least 3 times per week in order to feel properly rested. If you are finding it difficult to get your full 8 hours, here are some tips to help you wind down and enjoy a restful, rejuvenating sleep.
Exercise for at Least 20 Minutes Every Day
There are many benefits to being in good physical shape, and improved sleep is one of them. Exercise physically stresses the body, causing it to require increased amounts of deep sleep as it recovers. Exercise also promotes a greater rise and fall in body temperature, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay that way.
Let the Sun Shine In
As important as it is to have darkness during sleep, it’s just as important to have exposure to light in the morning to help with regulation of our circadian rhythms. Open the blinds, take an early morning walk outside, or sit near eastern-exposed windows. These simple ideas can allow our bodies to fall asleep more easily at night.
Your Clock can be Your Enemy!
Keeping a small clock beside your bed is handy when it comes time to wake up. When you're lying in bed and struggling to fall asleep, or go back to sleep, it seems to be mocking you. If you can, set your alarm and turn the clock around - you don't need to see the time when you're having trouble falling or staying asleep.
Be Wary of Sleep Medications
There are many different types of pills that can help us fall asleep or stay asleep. However, these pills don't always get to the root of what is causing the sleep troubles in the first place. Further, sleep medications can easily become addictive and it can be very difficult to break this type of addiction.
Take a Hot Bath
Sleep is partly regulated by the fluctuations in our body temperature. The act of our body cooling down starts the process of falling asleep. A hot bath taken 2 hours before bed can help raise the body temperature, and as the body cools down it can help us fall asleep quite easily.
Aaron Arkin began studying sleep in 1998, and has spent his entire career in various capacities in the sleep industry. He first became interested in sleep through the Psychology program at Trent University, and specialized in the relationship between Sleep, Learning, and Memory. After graduation, Aaron earned registry status as a polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT). From there, Aaron entered the Graduate Program at the University of Southern Mississippi in Experimental Psychology, where he continued his research into the relationship between Sleep, Learning, and Memory. Aaron has developed a program that helps patients with behavioural sleep issues – primarily, insomnia. The Evolution Sleep program was born and has been helping people sleep better since 2013.
Aaron is a member of the Society of Behavioural Sleep Medicine (SBSM) and the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA).
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.