Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits and Treatment of Sleep Disorders Improves Healthy Aging

CALGARY, Alberta, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The idea of aging is a scary one for most of us Canadians. There are a host of health and beauty issues, problems and conundrums that come along with aging and most people would rather not have to deal with declining physical and mental health and deepening wrinkles. Fortunately, for everyone there is something you can do to lessen the load of the inevitable aging process. SLEEP!

Every year since the inception of World Sleep Day (WSD) on March 14, 2008 the Canadian Sleep Society (CSS) has worked in conjunction with the WSD committee and the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) with the aim of informing communities worldwide about the importance of sleep health and to lessen the instance of debilitating sleep problems/disorders. This year WSD will be held on March 15 (the Friday before the March equinox) and the slogan "good sleep, healthy aging" aims to promote just that, healthy aging for both children and adults.

Sleeping is a regenerative process for both the mind and body and getting enough, good quality sleep can help to keep your heart healthy and your metabolic and endocrine systems in check. This is important because there are serious side effects to not getting quality ZZZs which are further complicated as we age.

Insomnia most immediately results in a loss of concentration, shorter attention span, reduced productivity and poor alertness and research shows that in the long term poor quality, short sleep wreaks havoc on metabolic hormones, resulting in obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, as we age these side effects become more pronounced.

Sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are the result of the airway being blocked during sleep which stops breathing and lowers oxygen levels, straining the heart. It causes arousals throughout the night, daytime fatigue, hypertension, heart disease and in some cases strokes. As we age the risk for cardiovascular disease goes up but sleep disorders like OSA will only further that risk.

Menopausal women have even more to overcome than aging men do. Hot flashes and hormonal changes tend to keep women from their necessary solid 7-9 hours of slumber. But fear not, there is help and it's even easy to obtain. Sleep problems and disorders are highly preventable and treatable. Every year the CSS works to further promote information concerning new sleep research, treatment guidelines and to get educational information to the public.

Follow these 10 commandments of good sleep hygiene to improve your sleep habits and if you think you have a sleep disorder seek out a specialist in your area, they could change your life.

  1. Fix a bedtime and awakening time
  2. If you are in the habit of taking naps keep them short, 20-30 minutes.
  3. Avoid excessive alcohol and tobacco ingestion a couple of hours before bedtime.
  4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.
  5. Avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods before bedtime. Keep your midnight snack light.
  6. Exercise regularly but not right before bed.
  7. Use comfortable bedding.
  8. Find a cool, comfortable temperature for sleeping.
  9. Block out all distracting noise and light; this includes laptops, cellphones and tablets.
  10. Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only.

Several events will be held online March 15, 2013 at

For more information or to schedule an interview with the VP Clinical of the CSS and board certified sleep specialist Dr. Samuels please contact:
Jesse Amery
Director of Communications, Centre for Sleep and Human Performance
(403) 383.7975

SOURCE: Canadian Sleep Society

For further information:; President of CSS:

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