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10 Proven Ways to Get More Shut-Eye

better night sleep

Women get the short end of the stick.

Talk about an evergreen comment. Today, its coming from behavioural sleep medicine specialist Jonathan Charest, whos talking to me about the sleep gap.According to Statistics Canada, 55 percent of Canadian women report that they frequently struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, compared to 43 percent of men. The reasons are myriad, Charest says. Natural hormone fluctuations caused by the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause can result in insomnia. Sleep issues may have also gotten worse for women during the pandemic, he adds, in part because of the desire to keep up productivity while also often facing a disproportionate burden of domestic duties and child care. This extra pressure, mixed with the current levels of stress and anxiety, make the pandemic the perfect storm for inadequate sleep.And frequent sleepless or restless nights can have serious consequences. Studies link insufficient shut-eye to an increase in the risk of depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk. Statistics Canada reports about one-third of Canadians regularly sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night.No wonder then that sleep, and our pursuit of it, has grown into a $78-billion global industry. Theres no shortage of suggested solutions out there, ranging from pillow sprays to high-tech gadgets to orgasming before bed.But what strategies have been proven to help, and which ones are based on little more than a dream? We spoke with three Canadian sleep experts about the best ways to get a better nights sleep. Heres what they advise.

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