Did you sleep well last night? Did you wake up well-rested, energetic, ready to give the day your best? If poor sleep is a problem in your life, Dr. Charles Samuels and his team at Calgary’s Centre for Sleep and Human Performance want you to know there’s a place you can go for help.
“Most people who end up here aren’t getting enough sleep and the sleep they get is not of good quality,” says Dr. Samuels, medical director at the Centre which opened in 2002. “Sleep is the foundation of human recovery in all aspects of life, and an athlete can optimize training by improving recovery, more than by changing volume and intensity of training.”
With four full-time behavioural sleep medicine specialists and a sleep research lab, the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance is unique in Canada. “Nobody has the depth of knowledge and experience we have here,” says Dr. Samuels, who directs the sleep health program for the Canadian National and Olympic teams for Sport Canada. “The pillars of health according to the World Health Organization are nutrition, activity and mental health, and the core of all that is sleep—which is really recovery.”
Poor sleep can have an adverse effect on many conditions including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and mental health disorders. Sleep fuels cognitive functions, our memory, attention and the ability to concentrate. Adults need the right amount of uninterrupted quality sleep (seven to nine hours at the right time of night) to allow our bodies and brains to recover and prepare for the day ahead.
“Shift workers and night owls don’t sleep at the right time and it affects the restorative quality of sleep,” says Dr. Samuels, who faced his own challenges with sleep deprivation as a family doctor in rural Alberta. “People in high-performance careers such as police officers, healthcare workers and athletes won’t perform optimally without the right quantity, quality and timing of sleep.”
Stick to a routine to train your brain that it’s time to sleep. Park your technology. Don’t drink or smoke as both have extremely negative effects on your brain’s ability to sleep.
If you need help with your sleep, contact www.centreforsleep.com. Athletes can click on the Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnaire for specific advice and guidance. Patients do not require a referral from their family doctor. Appointments are covered by provincial health care.
Centre for Sleep and Human Performance
Suite 106, 51 Sunpark Drive S.E.
Calgary AB T2X 3V4
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