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Scientists still don’t know why human beings sleep, but study after study has proven sleeping is vital for your health. In fact, if someone doesn’t sleep for approximately 72 hours, they’ll begin taking unexpected miniature naps. Chronic sleep deprivation of this severity could even have lethal consequences.

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Most North Americans do get at least some sleep, but millions of adults in Canada and the US alike can be described as sleep deprived. One in four people are affected by insomnia alone. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also get in the way of getting a good night’s sleep.

You might wonder why sleep matters so much. You may feel a little groggy or disoriented, but that’s nothing a cup of coffee can’t fix. It turns out there are many different ways sleep impacts your health.

The Importance of Sleep for Your Health

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep for your health. Total sleep deprivation leads to death among rats and other mammals in a short time.

Many North American adults suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. Maybe you have a difficult time falling asleep, or maybe it’s hard to stay asleep. Disorders like sleep apnea interfere with the quality of sleep, meaning you might feel less rested, no matter how long you sleep.

Many studies have demonstrated the importance of sleep for your health. For example, a lack of sleep is tied to the risk of obesity, and people who slept less than six hours per night were more likely to be obese, according to one study.

Sleep has also been shown to boost creativity, as well as your productivity. Sleep can also affect your hormonal balance and may be correlated to the risk of heart disease.

Given these facts, you may be wondering how you can improve your sleep. These tips might make it easier.

1. Get Some Exercise

Many people come home from work mentally or emotionally tired, but they’re not physically tired. If you can, try to get some more exercise into your routine. Exercise helps you burn off excess energy that could be keeping you up at night, no matter how tired you feel.

Try to schedule your workouts long before bedtime, however, as exercise is also associated with a rise in endorphins and other chemicals that could keep you up.

2. Cut Back on the Caffeine

How much caffeine do you drink? Even if you’re not a coffee-drinker, you might be surprised by how much caffeine is in your diet. Some soft drinks, like colas, contain caffeine, as do black teas, green teas, and even chocolate.

3. Meditate

If stress or anxiety is keeping you awake at night, you may want to try some meditation or another mindfulness exercise. This can help alleviate the feelings of worry you’re experiencing. Anxious feelings lead to a rise in substances like cortisol and adrenaline, which make people more energetic.

4. Ask about Medical Cannabis

If you’re having difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or getting quality sleep, you may want to try a medical treatment to help improve your sleep. Medical cannabis might be the right choice for you.

If pain or anxiety keeps you up at night, medical cannabis is a great choice. It’s also a safer alternative to sleeping pills and other treatments, which can be highly addictive. If you want to know more about medical cannabis, talk to your doctor or book a consultation with a medical cannabis clinic today.

Better Sleep Is Possible

If you’ve been struggling with sleep issues, you don’t need to. There’s no denying the importance of sleep for your health, and better sleep may be just a doctor’s appointment away.


Dr. Michael Verbora

Michael earned an MBA from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering a Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto. A member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Doctors for Responsible Access and the Canadian Pain Society, he has completed over 2,000 cannabinoid therapy consultations and has presented many talks in community and hospital settings while serving as student health physician at Seneca College and Medical Director, Canabo Medical Clinic.

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