Sleep allows us to keep our bodies and mind healthy, as we recharge nightly for the day ahead. Though the average adult should get between seven to nine hours of sleep daily, millions of Canadians are failing to meet this goal, due to trouble falling or staying asleep. Almost half of all Canadians will experience a sleep disorder of some kind during their lifetime.
A lack of proper sleep puts individuals at greater cardiometabolic risk as well as mental health issues. Good sleep hygiene, such as consistent curfews and daily exercise, can help alleviate sleeping issues and help you wake up feeling more refreshed.
Take a look at some statistics regarding Canadian sleeping habits down below.
Interesting Canadian Sleep Statistics
- 7.12 hours is the average hours of sleep per night Canadian adults between the ages of 18-to-64 receive
- Canadians spend a third of their lives sleeping
- Almost 50% of Canadians claim to be spending more time in bed during the COVID-19 pandemic
- The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep.
- 25% of Canadians between the ages of 18-34 are receiving an insufficient amount of sleep
- The average person experiences four to six sleep cycles a night
Canadian adults sleep, aged 18-to-64, on average sleep 7.12 hours.
The average sleep time for Canadian adults is just over 7 hours. On average, Canadian women sleep longer than men – 7.24 hours compared to 7.00 hours per night. The recommended sleep time for adults between the ages of 18-64 is 7-9 hours. Only about 3.3% of Canadians report sleeping more than nine hours whereas about a third of Canadian adults report sleeping less than the seven hours.
Those over the age of 65 have a recommended sleep time of 7-8 hours. On average, Canadian seniors sleep 7.24 hours a night, with about a third sleeping less than 7 hours. No discernable differences in sleeping amount was seen between senior Canadian men and women.
Over 50% of Canadian women have trouble falling or staying asleep.
In the 2007-to-2013 study, 55% of Canadian women (aged 18 to 64) reported difficulties with staying asleep or falling asleep most or some of the time, compared to 43% of men. These results are consistent with the 2005 Canadian Health Measures Survey study. For senior women, almost 60% of women reported poor sleep quality compared to 40% of senior men.
Twenty-five percent of Canadian adults are dissatisfied with their sleep.
Because of the ranging definitions for insomnia, it’s difficult to calculate concrete statistics on the matter. An estimated range from 6% to 48% of Canadians have experienced some kind of insomnia, ranging from mere sleep dissatisfaction to severe daytime consequences. Various medical studies estimate about 25% of Canadian adults as dissatisfied with their sleep, with about 6% to 10% reporting experiences qualifying as an insomnia disorder.
Statistics Canada found that insomnia also comes with a massive economic burden, with an estimated $5,010 per person annual cost. The majority of the cost is due to reduced productivity and taking days off from work due to poor health.
Over 12% of Canadian adults claim insufficient sleep affects their mental health.
(Government of Canada)
Chronic sleeping issues are linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. A Government of Canada report showed that about 12.3% of adults receiving inadequate sleep claimed to have poor mental health, compared to 5.8% of adults receiving enough sleep. Trouble falling asleep at night can also be a sign of high stress. About 36.3% of adults that received inadequate sleep reported chronic stress issues, compared to 23.2% of adults who reported adequate sleeping patterns.
About 26% of Canadian adults report symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
(Public Health Agency of Canada)
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes momentary pauses in breathing throughout one’s sleep. The breathing pauses tend to last about 10 to 30 seconds, with instances occurring several times throughout the night. Symptoms of sleep apnea include sleepiness during the daytime, loud snoring, poor concentration, memory loss, and an overall reduced quality of life. Sleep apnea has also been linked to more serious health conditions, such as hypertension and heart failure.
In a 2009 report, the Public Health Agency of Canada stated about 3% of Canadian adults reported being officially diagnosed with sleep apnea. However, the agency also estimated about 26% of Canadian adults showed symptoms reminiscent of the disorder as well. A 2014 sleep apnea studied estimated around 5.4 million Canadians have or at risk of sleep apnea.
Treatment options for sleep apnea include the usage of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to prevent the closing of the upper airway passage, as well as lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, consistent exercise, and avoiding alcohol.
Those with short sleep duration are at greater risk of developing hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.
A good night’s sleep is critical for a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association has linked sleep deprivation to a variety of medical issues, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. Sleep helps boost immunity and keep your body in check, decreasing your blood pressure at night.
Insufficient sleep time can increase the C-reactive protein in your body, in turn increasing risk of cardiovascular issues. Insufficient sleep also increases insulin resistance in the body, heightening chances of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. An improper sleeping schedule has also been liked to weight gain and obesity, as sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels. Gherlin, also known as the hunger hormone, is released primarily through the stomach and stimulates food intake into the body.
Good sleep hygiene includes exercise, a balanced diet, and relaxation.
In order to better your sleeping habits, try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. A consistent schedule will help maintain your body’s internal clock, helping you feel more refreshed in the mornings. Make sure your environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep by keeping it dark, quiet, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Limiting screen time before bed will help clear your mind and avoid any disruptions to your body’s natural melatonin production.
Other ways to improve your sleeping quality include eating well-balanced meals and maintaining a good exercise schedule. Keeping your body healthy and happy will help facilitate a smoother sleeping schedule. Integrating moderate-to-vigorous exercise into your daily schedule can decrease risk of sleep apnea and help reduce everyday stress. Addressing psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety, that prevent you from falling asleep can also help increase the quality of your sleep. Speak with a medical professional about the best treatment option for you.
A healthy sleep schedule may not always come easy. By assessing on your daily habits, you may find small changes you can enact into your routine that might make falling asleep easier. Insufficient sleep is a common cause of stress in millions of Canadians. Everyday stressors, such as work, family, and personal struggles, can make falling and staying asleep a nightmare.
Make sure to talk to a doctor about any concerns you may have about your sleeping patterns in order to figure out the best treatment option for you.