Healthy sleep – generally defined as adequate duration, quality, and timing – plays a fundamental role in physical and mental health . Unfortunately, insufficient sleep – defined as less than 7 h per night in adults – and poor sleep quality are common [2,3]. Despite compelling scientific evidence showing that insufficient sleep on a chronic basis is associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes , clinicians rarely discuss or assess sleep health with their patients during routine visits .
In October 2020, the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults aged 18–64 years and Adults aged 65 years or older were released . These public health guidelines followed robust and transparent guideline development processes and integrate sleep, sedentary behaviour, and physical activity. They emphasize that the whole day matters for health and wellness and recommend a balanced approach to 24-h movement behaviours. These authoritative guidelines include for the first time in Canada evidence-based recommendations for healthy sleep among adults. More specifically, they strongly recommend getting 7–9 h (adults aged 18–64 years) or 7–8 h (adults 65 years or older) of good-quality sleep on a regular basis, with consistent bed and wake-up times.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute