• En En
    • Fr Fr
  • Sleep Awareness

    Sleep is extremely important for brain function, mood and your overall health​(1)​. For instance, good sleep quality and sleep duration have been associated with higher odds of positive mental health and lower odds of mental illness and suicidal ideation​(2)​. Additionally, inadequate sleep can be both a symptom and a risk factor for many mental health conditions; 80-90% and 70-90% of people with depression and anxiety, respectively, also have insomnia​(3)​. Poor sleep can also increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as diabetes and obesity​(4)​.  Overall, in Canada, about a third of Canadians do not get the daily recommended amount of sleep and approximately 25% of adults report issues with falling or stay asleep most or all of the time​(2)​. 

     What does good sleep look like? 

    Good sleep is characterized by how much sleep you get, the quality of the sleep you get and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule​(1)​. How much sleep an individual needs is dependent on their age and overall medical conditions, with most adults requiring at least 7 hours a night​(1)​. In terms of quality, sleep should be uninterrupted, so the brain is able to move through all the sleep cycles appropriately​(1)​. A good sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up at the same time every night and morning, respectively, regardless of weekday or weekend​(1)​. This is because while a person can recover from one bad night of sleep, sleeping little during the week to catch up over the weekend does not provide the same health benefits of consistent, high-quality sleep​(1)​ 

    Poor sleep causes and treatments 

    Issues surrounding sleep can be related to life stressors, such as work or family related stress​(1,4)​ . For instance, ~30% of Canadians are employed in shift work, which can impede sleep quality and consistency​(5)​. However, poor sleep can also be caused by serious medical conditions including​(1,4)​: 


    • A condition characterized by the inability to fall and/or stay asleep 
    • A person with this condition may find themselves awake in the early morning, unable to fall back asleep 
    • Lack of good sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, making it hard for those with insomnia to function during the day 
    • Treatment for insomnia is typically pharmaceutical based in combination with behavioral techniques to improve regular sleep  
        • A condition characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden muscle weakness  
        • Occurrences may be triggered by strong emotions and/or a surprise 
        • Treatment for narcolepsy is typically a combination of stimulant medications and behavioural changes, such as regularly scheduled naps 
        Restless leg syndrome 
        • A condition characterized by a creeping sensation in the lower leg(s) that moves throughout the leg(s) as aches and pains 
        • To stop the creeping sensation, patients may need to kick their leg(s) or walk, which makes falling asleep difficult 
        • Treatment for restless leg syndrome is typically medication that can normalize dopamine signaling and induce sleep 
        Sleep apnea 
        • A condition characterized by making gasping or snorting noises during sleep 
        • Can cause excessive daytime sleepiness due to poor, non-restorative sleep, as the noises made indicate a disrupted moment of sleep  
        • Treatment for sleep apnea is dependent on the cause of the sleep apnea and ranges from medications to a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device  

        Tips for better sleep 

        Whether an individual’s poor sleep is caused by a condition or general life stress, the following 6 behavioral changes from the Mayo Clinic can help improve sleep​(6)​: 

        Stick to a sleep schedule 
        Pay attention to what you eat and drink close to bed time 
        • Don’t go to bed hungry or full and limit nicotine, caffeine and alcohol near bedtime  
        Create a restful environment in your bedroom 
        • Pay attention to the temperature, lighting and noise levels  
        Limit daytime naps 
        Include physical activity in your daily routine 
        Manage worries through stress management, meditation, therapy etc.  



        1. NIH. News in Health. 2021. Good Sleep for Good Health. Available from: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/04/good-sleep-good-health#:~:text=But sleep is as important,stroke to obesity and dementia. 

        ​2. Clayborne ZM, Dopko RL, Wang C, Betancourt MT, Roberts KC, Capaldi CA. Associations of sleep duration and sleep quality with indicators of mental health among youth and adults: findings from the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can [Internet]. 2023;43(5):243–59. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/reports-publications/health-promotion-chronic-disease-prevention-canada-research-policy-practice/vol-43-no-5-2023/associations-sleep-duration-sleep-quality-indicators-mental-health-among-youth-and-adults.htm 

        ​3. Kuhathasan N, Minuzzi L, MacKillop J, Frey BN. An investigation of cannabis use for insomnia in depression and anxiety in a naturalistic sample. BMC Psychiatry [Internet]. 2022 Dec 1 [cited 2022 Sep 18];22(1). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35484520/ 

        ​4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basics about Sleep [Internet]. 2022. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm 

        ​5. Shields M. Shift work and health. Health reports / Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Health Information = Rapports sur la santé / Statistique Canada, Centre canadien d’information sur la santé [Internet]. 2002;13(4):11–33. Available from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/82-003-x/2001004/article/6315-eng.pdf?st=bBlzZAJM 

        ​6. Mayo Clinic. Sleep Tips: 6 steps to better sleep [Internet]. 2022. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379 


        Previous Article Next Article

        You must be of legal age in your province of residence to view our content.

        Go Back

        • En En
        • Fr Fr
        • Better Together
        Welcome to Aurora. A family of medical cannabis brands.
        Patient Login
        Forgot password?

        This website uses cookies to enable essential features, please review our Cookie Policy for more information on how to manage and personalize your experience.