Q: “How come some people can function fine with so little sleep, when others can get a solid eight hours a night and still be tired?” ~ Danielle, Calgary, AB.
Here is the answer from Dr. Robyn Stremler, RN, BSc(Hons), MSc(A), PhD, a Nursing Research Associate at the Centre for Nursing at The Hospital for Sick Children.
A: “Most adults need seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep per night, but there are many people who need more or less than that amount to feel well-rested. There is probably a genetic component to how much sleep each person needs. The 24-hour a day demands of society, including work, school, time with family and friends, texting, Twitter and Facebook, has a big influence on how late we stay up and how much sleep we actually get!
The best way to know you are getting enough sleep is how you feel the next day. The amount of sleep that allows you to wake up (maybe even a few minutes before your alarm clock goes off) with energy for the whole day is the right amount for you. Although there is variation in how much sleep adults need, we know that people who consistently sleep less than six hours at night are more likely to be sleepy during the day, have a more depressed mood and make mistakes with complex tasks such as driving a car.
People who say they need only a few hours of sleep each night may have gotten used to the feeling of being tired and may underestimate the amount of sleep they actually need. Someone who is sleeping eight hours or more a night but still feels tired may have problems with sleep such as difficulty breathing properly during sleep and should talk to a health-care professional. Also, the best sleep is achieved when you go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day. So, if you are sleeping eight or more hours a day, but you go to bed and get up at very different times each day, this does not allow you to have a consistent daily rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) and may leave you feeling tired or groggy.”
The scientists at SickKids are experts in most areas of health and life science. They spend their days asking tough questions and searching out the answers. Now it is your turn to ask them the tough questions.
Have you ever had a burning question about your body or about your health and didn’t know how to find the answer? This might just be the opportunity to get to the bottom of it!
You have the chance to submit your question and it will be answered by a scientist who specializes in that area. The best questions and answers will be featured on the Research Institute website: http://www.sickkids.ca/research.
Check the website often to see if your question gets posted. You can learn about what others want to know and if you read enough answers, you may even become a health expert yourself!
Believed to be the single largest private gift to paediatric cancer in North America, a $30-million gift to The Hospital for Sick Children was inspired by one boy’s journey with cancer.
Michael Garron’s illness went undetected for months. It took the form of a small lump on his hand looking more like a cyst than a deadly disease. When the lump grew larger, Michael saw a specialist in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where his father was stationed with the Bank of Nova Scotia.
Test results were grim. Michael’s specialist recommended the Garrons return home to Ontario, Canada, to seek the advice of John Hall, a specialist at SickKids. Dr. Hall diagnosed Michael with a rare soft tissue cancer, synovial sarcoma.
Just shy of his sixth birthday, Michael had his middle finger removed to stop the spread of cancer. His lower arm came next and Michael began to withdraw from his friends and family. His parent sought the help of Sol Goldstein, a psychiatrist at SickKids.
Dr. Goldstein worked with Michael to help guide him through the next few years of his life. Sadly, Michael lost his battle with cancer at the age of 13.
Myron and Berna Garron know first-hand the struggle parents must face when their child is stricken with cancer. That’s why on October 25, 2010, at a celebration at SickKids, they announced a transformative gift of $30 million to establish The Garron Family Cancer Centre. They hope their gift will allow the Hospital to help more children survive their cancer diagnosis.
Michael’s psychiatrist, Dr. Goldstein, went on to write a book in 1986 on Michael’s journey with cancer. He named it Michael’s Ship: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Struggle to Live. An excerpt from Dr. Goldstein’s book reads: “Our memories of Michael exist not to haunt us, but to help us – to show the true value of life and how it should be lived.”
Learn more about the transformational gift from the Garron family.
As part of National Pizza Month, Pizza Pizza will be putting smiles on faces across Canada with its annual Slices for Smiles campaign.
During the week of October 18-24, visit your closest Pizza Pizza location and purchase a medium cheese or pepperoni pizza to help your local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Proceeds from Pizza Pizza restaurants located in south-central Ontario will be directed to SickKids!
Since its inception in 2007, Slices for Smiles has raised more than half a million dollars for children’s causes. Proceeds raised from this event help fund leading-edge patient care, groundbreaking research and critical medical learning at local children’s hospitals like The Hospital for Sick Children.
This year, Pizza Pizza wants to raise $100,000! Give them a hand by visiting your nearest Pizza Pizza location during the Slices for Smiles campaign. Be sure to follow the Pizza Pizza Facebook and Twitter pages for your chance at winning some giveaways or one of two grand prizes!