April 11, 2017 1:05 pm
Updated: April 11, 2017 1:11 pm

Quebecers say ‘racing thoughts’ stop them from getting enough sleep: Léger study

Sleep problems can seriously impact your physical and mental health, even sometimes leading to chronic illness.

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Sleep can be an elusive concept that is often lost on Quebecers, according to a recent survey by Léger Marketing.

According to the study, conducted online from Dec. 5 to 8, 2016 with responses from 1,523 Canadians, one in four Quebecers don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults.

READ MORE: Sleep-deprived Canadians risking serious long-term health problems: scientists

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“It’s not easy to get a rejuvenating six full hours of sleep,” explained Julie Marchand, life coach and wellness specialist.

“Tossing and turning, heavy digestion, urge to pee, stress and occupied mind are some of the common issues that we all experience once in a while.”

The study revealed that about 89 per cent of Quebecers say “racing thoughts” prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep.

READ MORE: What are the common sleep disorders keeping Canadians awake?

About 62 per cent of respondents said they have difficulty slowing down their minds when they go to bed, with 69 per cent of women and 54 per cent of men blaming it for the reason they can’t fall asleep.

In fact, 54 per cent of Quebecers (59 per cent of women and 48 per cent of men) have trouble sleeping at least once a week; about 12 per cent have trouble sleeping every day.

READ MORE: Here’s what you should be eating for a good night’s sleep, according to scientists

When asked what they would give up to get a good night’s sleep, 21 per cent of women said they were open to giving up sex.

Men were less enthusiastic, with seven per cent willing to make that sacrifice.

WATCH BELOW: Getting a good night’s sleep

Marchand explained sleep is essential to our physical and mental wellbeing as lack of rest can make our days more difficult, affect our productivity and mood, or have other consequences.

It can affect our memory, weaken our immune system and increase the risk of high blood pressure or heart disease.

READ MORE: 8 reasons why you should aim for 8 hours of sleep tonight

So, what can we do to ensure we get a better night’s sleep?

“First, identifying what are the stresses and worries and write them down to be able to clear the mind,” Marchand told Global News.

“Having a healthy lifestyle is probably the best option to optimize the chances of having a good night of sleep.”

READ MORE: Why Canadian docs are warning kicking in your sleep may increase your risk of stroke

Marchand explained Quebecers may be willing to give up sleep in favour of doing other things simply because they’re unaware of the impact on our health.

“For some people, sleep may seem like a waste of time and think it’s better to be as productive as possible,” she said.

What are some little known health benefits that will actually motivate people to sleep more?

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced stress
  • Better concentration
  • Improved memory
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better mood
  • Less daily fatigue
  • Better sex life

Are there any tricks for a better night’s sleep that people will actually try?

  • Relaxation and breathing exercises; stretching the neck can release tensions in the neck and shoulder area, while meditating can calm the mind.
  • Write down your tasks or to-do list for the next day to clear your mind.
  • Take a walk; the fresh air will do wonders for you mind and body.
  • Listen to audio books or guided meditations, for those who are too attached to their phones.
  • Taking some natural sleep aid supplements, such as Pharmaton Sleep Harmony, designed to help calm racing thoughts and achieve better quality of sleep.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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