After Activity: Sleep

Sleep is essential for our body systems to recover and recharge.

After being physically active, it is important to recover and recharge our body systems. Sleep is critical for restoring energy. However, changes in our sleep patterns begin around the age of 50 and continue as we age.

As we get older our sleep changes:

  • Earlier bedtimes and earlier rise times
  • Takes a longer time to fall asleep
  • Shorter overall sleep duration
  • Increased time spent awake throughout the night

Older adults should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

5 tips to sleep better:

  1. Stay active, eat well, and get sunlight each day
  2. Go to bed and awaken at the same times each day
  3. Keep your room quiet, dark, and at a cool temperature
  4. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake close to bed time
  5. Speak to your health care provider about changes that worry you—e.g., snoring, moving, waking, bad dreams, etc.

Canadian Sleep Society

Books & Brochures


Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network

Materials for Patients and the Public

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Healthy Sleep Habits

National Sleep Foundation

Bedtime Calculator

Ontario Telemedicine Network

Practical Apps’ Review of Insomnia Apps

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Sleep Problems

Pzizz (also available as an app)

Pzillow Talk: The Official Blog of Pzizz

15 Tips for Great Sleep

Sleep Hygiene Explained!


Articles about Sleep and Insomnia

Exercise More for Better Sleep

Thought Blocking for Getting to Sleep

How Can I Treat My Insomnia?

Choosing Wisely Canada

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Without Medication Guide

Yoga as You Age: The Benefits of Relaxation and Exercise in Treating Insomnia and Anxiety

Insomnia and Anxiety in Older People: Sleeping Pills are Usually Not the Best Solution

Sleeping Pills and Anti-Anxiety Medication: You May Be at Risk Guide

Less Sedatives for Your Older Adult Relatives: A Toolkit for Reducing Inappropriate Use of Benzodiazepines and Sedative-Hypnotics Among Older Adults in Hospitals (for healthcare professionals in hospitals)

Drowsy Without Feeling Lousy: A Toolkit for Reducing Inappropriate Use of Benzodiazepines and Sedative-Hypnotics Among Older Adults in Primary Care (for primary care health professionals)

My Sleepwell

Sleepwell Recommends

Other Resources


Bedtime Yoga Routine

Recommended Reading

Can Melatonin Really Help You Get A Better Night’s Sleep?

Power Naps: Your Guide to Getting More Shut-Eye

Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network. (2016). Knowledge mobilization: Materials for patients and the public. [Website]. Retrieved from

Hirshkowitz, M., Whiton, K., Albert, S. M., Alessi, C., Bruni, O., DonCarlos, L., Hazen, N., Herman, J., Katz, E. S., Kheirandish-Gozal, L., Neubauer, D. N., O’Donnell, A. E., Ohayon, M., Peever, J., Rawding, R., Sachdeva, R. C., Setters, B., Vitiello, M. V., Ware, J. C., & Adams Hillard, P. J. (2015). National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: Methodology and results summary. Sleep Health, 1(1), 40-43. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.010

Kredlow, M. A., Capozzoli, M. C., Hearon, B. A., Calkins, A. W., & Otto, M. W. (2015). The effects of physical activity on sleep: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38(3), 427-449. doi: 10.1007/s10865-015-9617-6

Mander, B. A., Winer, J. R., & Walker, M. P. (2017). Sleep and human aging. Neuron, 94(1), 19-36. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.02.004

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. (2017). How much sleep do I need? [Website]. Retrieved from

These are general health guidelines and should not be considered personal medical advice. You should consult your health care provider and discuss each element outlined above to ensure that each element of the AVOID Frailty campaign is personally customized for you.