April 2016Health tips

Aside from making you feel good, sleep is essential to overall health

It’s the end of the day. You’re winding down. You’re tired. It’s time to turn in. You put your head on the pillow … and an hour later, for reasons you just can’t understand, your eyes are still wide open and your mind is racing.

For many people, getting a good night’s sleep can be tough. Their hectic schedules knock them out, but they still find it hard to unwind and get the seven to eight hours of rest that they need.

As if this weren’t bad enough, sleeplessness turns out to be more just than an inconvenience: it’s a health hazard. Adequate sleep is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, and too little of it can have serious consequences.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [link previous seven words to http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html], “insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, which threaten health. Aside from these, insufficient sleep is also responsible for motor vehicle- and machinery-related crashes, causing substantial injury and disability each year.”

If you’re intent on reaching dreamland, one place to start might be the JGH Behavioural Psychotherapy and Research Unit at 514-340-8222, ext. 5626.

The JGH Patient and Family Resources Centre has also put together a list of links to reliable websites to help you maintain good sleep habits and learn more about disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea.

HealthLinkBC, a health information service in British Columbia, provides guides to:

The Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal also has:

To help you understand your sleep patterns, Medhelp offers a personalized sleep tracker for members—and membership is free.

You’ll also be entertained and informed by the interactive guide developed by the Montreal Science Centre, with lots of information for adults and kids.

Many more resources on a wide variety of healthcare subjects are available from the JGH Patient and Family Resource Centre.

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