Recently a global news agency reported that in a study of 13 modern countries, Canada ranked 3rd for the most sleep deprived.  It also stated that 1 in 3 Canadian men are getting only 4 to 6 hours of sleep per night.   Canada’s ParticipAction Report card scored poorly with 1 in 3 children testing lethargic from not getting enough sleep.  Clearly lack of sleep is epidemic in our society.

So, if you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, waking in the night with not getting back to sleep, and feeling groggy and unrefreshed in the morning, the good news is you’re not alone.   The bad news is that lack of sleep is the quickest way to age and become ill.  Without adequate sleep, your body’s immune system becomes overloaded with the chores it cannot get done on the nightshift, which are to repair, replenish and replace parts so that you remain vital, youthful and healthy.

To top it off, most people who do not sleep well at night lead stressful lives during the day.  This is often accompanied with not eating well which means they do not give their bodies the help it needs to get to sleep.

Here are 10 ways to help you sleep better at night:

  1. Eat Nuts and seeds – these are high in Magnesium (relaxing mineral) and help keep your nervous system in balance.
  2. Eat Leafy Greens like spinach, chard and lettuce – also high in Magnesium as well as fiber which not only calms you but helps your colon remove toxins which the body.  Toxic buildup is interpreted as a threat to your survival and so keeps you in fight or flight mode.
  3. Drink Calming teas from herbs like chamomile, valerian or rhodiola, and green tea which has L- theanine, known to promote relaxation without sedation
  4. Eat fresh wild fish to provide essential fats to help transport minerals to your brain so that your brain feels satiated and calm.
  5. Get Physical. Your body loves activity, so walk, play, or exercise. It’s guaranteed to help you sleep better.
  6. Avoid Screen time. Late night tv, computer and cell phones in your bedroom are recipes for sleep quality interference.
  7. Avoid Sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) and refined processed carbohydrates. Packaged foods contain mainly chemicals that artificially ramp brain activity, increase appetite, tax the liver, etc
  8. Avoid Alcohol (especially within two hours of bedtime). Many people who have ice cream and red wine after dinner find themselves waking up at 3 am the next morning.
  9. Avoid Caffeinated beverages – sodas and “health drinks.”
  10. Go to bed with a peaceful heart.    Spend a moment to kiss, hug, cuddle, pray, meditate, read or write a loving thought before you turn out the light.
When we clean up a person’s diet, reduce their intake of unhealthy chemicals, and improve their immunity with a healthy lifestyle, often the first sign of improvement is better sleep.

Cathy Lidster, GCFP, ACNRT, teaches seminars on health and wellness, and helps clients with health and allergy challenges lead healthier happier lives.  Please visit www.cathylidster.com or email cathylidster@gmail.com for more tips.


  1. Hello Cathy! Thanks for this info. I’m still taking sleeping pills off and on since there is so much stress in my life still. I’m with my sister in van helping care for her with terminal cancer. My mom is very low as well. Kids are good. I hope you’re well. You are a real gift to this planet! Keep smiling. I miss seeing you sweet lady! You know that I live in kelowna..blessings

  2. Thank you, Cathy! I will try these tips. Keep them coming…

  3. thanks Kathy