Do you get a good night’s sleep? The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults, released in October 2020, recommend 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep for adults aged 18 to 64 and 7 to 8 hours for adults aged 65 and older, on a regular basis, with consistent sleep and wake times for health benefits.
Unfortunately, too many of us are not getting that amount, and are putting our short- and long-term health in jeopardy.
What is getting a “good sleep”?
Sleep is a necessary part of daily life, and ideally you should:
- Get the recommended hours of sleep for your age group. If you don’t get enough sleep or sleep too long, you have an increased risk of adverse health outcomes.
- Go to sleep and stay asleep – this is called your ‘sleep quality’. Good sleep quality – being able to fall asleep without being frustrated and not waking frequently in the night — contributes to both physical and mental health.
- Rest at the same time every day. Varying your sleep timing between work and free days and going to bed later than usual generally mean you are not getting a ‘good sleep.’
Six ways that not getting a good night’s sleep effects your health
SBIS is proud to work with Greenshield Canada (GSC), providing our exclusive PRISM Health and Dental plans. In GSC’s article ‘How Our Anti-Sleep Culture Is Hurting Our Health’ they review six things you should know about the impact of not getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Compromised immune system
Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus – like the cold or flu – and are likely to take longer to recover if they do get sick. Scientists believe this is because your body’s production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells, as well as protective proteins is greatly reduced when you don’t get enough shut-eye.
2. Weight gain
Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get 7 hours of slumber. Scientists believe this is because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of the hormone that makes you feel hungry.
Studies suggest that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. In particular, missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose (which it uses for energy). Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person.
4. Poor mental health
Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed about their sleep habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than 6 hours a night.
5. Heart disease
Chronic sleep deprivation appears to be associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as higher levels of chemicals linked with inflammation, putting extra strain on your heart.
Reduced fertility has been associated with sleep deprivation in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruption can cause trouble conceiving by reducing reproductive hormones.
How can health insurance help?
Health and dental insurance plans have built-in tools to assist you in managing your health – including getting a good sleep.
Digital health apps
Manulife, Greenshield and GMS health plans include digital health applications that help provide guidance on getting sleep to feel rested. You get access to recent articles on finding care, managing your health, and preventing illness, and easy-to-use search tools to help you find a doctor, health facility, or community support group in your area.
Your health insurance can help connect you to the professionals you need for video consultations. In fact, you can use telehealth as frequently as you need to overcome the obstacles of travel and waiting room time delays. It can shorten the cycle between identifying a health problem like sleep issues and implementing a clinical solution.
GSC’s Change4Life can be the secret to a better night’s sleep
PRISM health and dental plans connect you to GSC’s Change4Life Mindfulness Program. This mental-health support program is like a fitness program for your mind that can help you rest.
Mindfulness is a proven practice that helps people approach stress, low mood and/or anxiety differently, so they can get more out of their day-to-day experiences and improve their well-being.
The Change4Life online program guides you through the techniques and concepts behind mindfulness. There are a series of six sessions with audio and video components, as well as on-screen education materials and a reflection workbook. The program was developed in collaboration with a team of mental health professionals and is based on scientific evidence that shows the positive impact of mindfulness on mental health.
Your GSC PRISM plan options that include Change4Life for free
You can choose from three GSC benefits program options (and from 12 different plans) that all provide Change4Life and health insurance for you and your family with coverage for services and treatments not covered by your government health plan like:
- Prescription drugs
- Dental care for Basic, Comprehensive Basic and/or Major Services (if you choose)
- Extended healthcare costs, like vision care, accidental dental, ambulance transportation, hearing aids, home support, medical items, eye examinations, professional/registered therapists including chiropractor, foot-care specialist (chiropodist/podiatrist), naturopath, osteopath, physiotherapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, psychologist, registered social worker, speech therapist
- And optional hospital accommodation for semi-private and/or private rooms.
PRISM PRECISION® provides practical, basic health insurance options. There is no medical questionnaire and coverage is guaranteed even if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
PRISM SPECTRA® delivers comprehensive coverage for you and your family with high benefits maximums. There is a medical questionnaire you must complete to qualify for coverage.
PRISM CONTINUUM® is the best solution if you, your spouse or dependents are leaving an employer group health benefit plan within the last 90 days and want guaranteed coverage, including coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
Want to rest easy and get started with Change4Life?
Do you need help selecting the Prism® plan best suited to your health care needs and budget? Just contact us at SBIS at 416.601.0429 or 1.800.667.0429 toll-free or go online to apply today! Or talk to us about Manulife and GMS health and dental plans. We’ll help you find the perfect plan for your needs and budget. Here’s to your good rest and good health!