Sweet dreams: Canadian university launches the world’s largest sleep study

Do you get sufficient sleep? What is the right amount of sleep? And does the amount of sleep you require change as you get older?



The world’s largest sleep study

A new study by neuroscientists at Western University in London ON  aims to discover how sleep affects brain health, and they are asking for participants of all ages to join in.


Baby sleeping for sleep study


The effects of sleep deprivation is a global problem. Lack of sleep impairs brain function and can cause people to make major errors in both their personal and professional lives. The study focuses on six major questions:


  • How much sleep is “enough” sleep?
  • How does sleep affect cognition as you age?
  • Who is most susceptible to the effects of sleep deprivation?
  • What are the long-term health effects of sleep deprivation?
  • Do morning people differ from night owls in their cognition?
  • Which types of cognition are most affected by sleep loss?


The neuroscientists at The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University have devised an online experiment model, allowing them to collect massive amounts of data from as many people as possible. Taking part involves a questionnaire and some online brain teasers, and takes only 40 mins per day, for three days.


Participants get instant feedback on how their brain health and sleep patterns compare with other participants. At the end of the study, participants will also receive the full results of the study. (If you’d like to participate the sleep study, click here. )

Adrian Owen, Chief Scientific Officer at Cambridge Brain Sciences and the leader of the study said:


“Many of us are working more erratic hours and sleeping less, while the pace of our lives seems to be accelerating. We know that this sleep disruption affects us in some ways and that some people feel the impact more than others, but there’s surprisingly little research into exactly how our brains deal with these sleep deficits.”



31% of Canadians are sleep-deprived

The online study comes in the wake of a study from October 2016, where Canada was identified as the world’s third most sleep-deprived country, behind the UK and Ireland. The study by insurance company Aviva  found that 31% of those surveyed stating that they got insufficient sleep.



Sleep and senior health

Up to 20% Canadians sleep between six and seven hours a night, less than the recommended average eight hours. Sleep deprivation has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. In seniors, a lack of sleep, or fragmented sleep caused by waking during the night, has been linked to an increased risk of a stroke and cognitive decline according to a study conducted by Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital. Dr Andrew Lim, head of the Toronto study, said:


“Waking up a lot at night seems to be associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease over time.”



Sleep experts at The Manor Village Canada

At The Manor Villages, we have in-house sleep experts ready to help Resident with their sleep issues. In our experience, many seniors assume that:


  1. They need less sleep than they used to
  2. Sleep problems as a ‘natural’ part of growing older.


Neither are true. Seniors need just as much sleep as anyone else, and sleep disorders can be treated with a little expert help!



Sleep well at The Manor Village

In association with our experts, we have devised many aspects of our senior living program to ensure our Residents get the optimum quantity and quality of sleep


  • Our menus are created to promote good digestion, and help in the sleep process.
  • We schedule our exercise classes in the morning so the endorphins created during exercise do not affect sleep.
  • In association with our geriatric pharmacists, we review all your medications to check if certain medication combinations might be affecting your sleep.
  • Our daily activity program encourage daytime alertness and engagement.


For more details of any of our Manor Village senior communities in Calgary AB and London ON, just click here, or call us to arrange your personalized visit.


Sleep tight!