When you hear the words "self-care," what do you think of? For many, the practice is synonymous with working out, eating well, yoga and meditation. But what about a regular sleep schedule?
With the ongoing worry of a global pandemic, the strain of working from home and the fallout from a chaotic year in general, it's more important now than ever to prioritize sleep as a key pillar of health and wellbeing. A good night's sleep is important because, just like your overworked smartphone and laptop, your body needs to recharge in order to operate.
While many people can make it through a day or two of sluggishness, it's obvious that without proper sleep, no one can perform at their best. Canadian tennis star and Grand Slam champ, Bianca Andreescu, knows it and she's on a mission with Dormez-vous to "awaken Canadians to the power of sleep."
"We need to stop putting sleep on the bottom of our to-do list and instead recognize the tremendous benefits and strength that comes when we actively manage our sleep," says Bianca.
"If I don't get a good night's sleep then I can't function at my best the next day. Sleep is something I'm incredibly disciplined about - regardless of whether I'm competing or in my downtime. As an athlete, I need to be on my A-game all the time so I can continue to perform at an optimal level."
Considering that sleep is the foundation to better health and wellness, a consistent sleep schedule is essential to feeling and being your best self. There are ample mental and physical benefits you can achieve by putting the phone down and getting in more snooze time, and these are just a few.
Strengthen Your Immune System
You can't expect your body to fight off illnesses if you're not giving it what it needs. Your immune system is here to help you, so why not return the favour? Chances are, whenever you caught a cold when growing up, your parents told you to get lots of rest. They weren't exaggerating, as research has proven that sleep helps heal.
Lack of sleep actually reduces the production of antibodies and cells needed to fight infection. Getting the proper amount of sleep can strengthen your body's immune function, supplying your system with enough energy to do what it does best — fight for you.
Sharpen Your Mind
Have you ever tried focusing on a project while running on minimal hours of sleep? If so, you've probably realized it wasn't very successful.
And sleep experts agree. Poor sleep has a negative impact on thinking. Sleep helps improve your attention span, concentration and overall cognitive performance. Not only does it increase your ability to focus efficiently, but it also improves your memory.
So, the next time you insist on forcing yourself to stay up to finish work, perhaps opt for your bed instead of your desk.
Achieve Optimal Performance
If you're going to listen to anyone talk about achieving optimal performance, it should probably be a hardworking athlete. Bianca doesn't shy away in expressing the importance of championing sleep as much as she champions her sport.
"By taking a disciplined approach to my wellness and investing in my sleep regime in the same way I invest in my fitness regime, I am a higher performance athlete and a stronger, healthier, happier human being," she says.
Even if you don't have an athletic bone in your body, there's a lot to take from Bianca's mantra. Allowing your heart to rest and cells to repair will help your body recover after a long day. Full recovery of any physical exertion is like hitting the reset button on your body, both mentally and physically. You'll wake up feeling brand new, allowing you to tackle tasks with a fresh force.
Protect Your Physical Health
Sleep is critical for optimal physical health. Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleep disorders and don't seek help for their issues. Sleep deprivation studies have revealed that not getting enough sleep each night is linked to harmful health effects such as increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose and increased inflammation.
Regulation of your emotional state is of utmost importance when it comes to taking care of yourself. Without mental clarity and peace of mind, it's hard to enjoy even the simplest joys in life.
Enhance Your Productivity
Productivity is all about energy, which leads to enhanced motivation and ambition to take on the day! It's common sense to know that lack of sufficient sleep won't assist you in being productive. When you're tired, all you want to do is plop down on your mattress and take to Netflix for the rest of the day.
Many people believe that being productive involves working day and night, but Bianca Andreescu wants to set things straight: "There are so many people that say, 'To work harder you need to work longer' and that's just not true. We need our sleep."
When it comes down to it, sleep is the catalyst to achieving optimum performance in all mental and physical aspects.
Nurture Your Body
Research suggests that a single night of insufficient sleep can cause puffy eyes pesky fine lines and pale skin. When you're deep in slumber, your skin's blood flow increases, promoting collagen and repairing any unwelcome damage.
Besides giving you skin goals, sleep also helps nurture your body by managing your cortisol levels — aka the stress hormone. Have you ever taken a "stress nap"? Yeah, you're not alone. A little siesta is actually a productive way to rejuvenate.
Sleep is the fuel that powers your day and helps you feel and be your best self. And just as Bianca Andreescu prioritizes sleep in order to bring her A-game in tennis, Canadians should prioritize a good night's sleep to help them feel and be their best self.
Dormez-vous is on a mission to "awaken Canadians to the power of sleep." Their trusted and knowledgeable Sleep Experts help find personalized sleep solutions tailored to each individual's needs, ensuring every Canadian achieves their best night's sleep.
The vaccine, which is approved for Canadians aged 18 and over, contains a weakened version of the common cold taken from chimpanzees.
It has been engineered to include instructions for creating the spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Your immune system then recognizes the spike protein as something that shouldn't be there and trains itself to neutralize it. In other words, it learns how to protect you against COVID-19 without making you sick.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine also includes non-medicinal ingredients, and you can find a full list on the Health Canada website.
If you have an allergy to its medical or non-medical ingredients, you should not receive it.
Why has the AstraZeneca vaccine been in the news lately?
Earlier this month, reports from Europe indicated there could be a link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots.
Following the reports, some European countries paused their use of the Swedish-British vaccine as a precautionary measure — however, they've since resumed the rollout following the results of a European Medicines Agency (EMA) investigation.
What adverse effects were found in Europe?
According to AstraZeneca, as of March 14, there were 15 events of "deep vein thrombosis" (blood clots in deep veins) and 22 events of pulmonary embolism (a lung blockage caused by blood clots) reported by people who got the vaccine.
However, in the same statement, the pharmaceutical company said these numbers are actually lower than what's expected to occur naturally in the general population.
It also stated its data — composed of over 17 million people vaccinated in the E.U. and the U.K. — shows "no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country."
What happened next?
On March 11, Health Canada issued an advisory, stating it was aware of the reports of adverse effects, but "there is no indication that the vaccine caused these events."
It said the vaccine was authorized "based on a thorough, independent review of the evidence" and that no adverse effects had been reported to Health Canada or the federal public health agency.
It also confirmed that European health authorities were investigating and that none of the vaccine batches under investigation were shipped to Canada.
What have health authorities found out?
After investigating, EMA and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) concluded there's no evidence to suggest the vaccine is causing these rare blood clots.
"There is no evidence that that blood clots in veins is occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination," said Dr. June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive.
However, while a causal link hasn't been proven, they do say the possibility "deserves further analysis," which is currently being conducted.
Health Canada, EMA and MHRA all say "the benefits of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any risks" and that the public should continue getting them.
According to Thrombosis Canada, you're far more likely to get blood clots from COVID-19 than from the vaccine.
Two teams of German and Norwegian scientists independently identified "a mechanism that could lead the AstraZeneca PLC vaccine to cause potentially deadly blood clots in rare instances" — as well as a possible treatment for it, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Igloofest is right around the corner! This year it happens to start Thursday, January 12th and lasts until Saturday, Feburary 4th. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between those dates are filled with superb DJs! But, there are specific DJs you should definitely look out for in 2017 at Igloofest!
The list below composes of some of the most popular DJs performing at Igloofest and some local upcoming home favourites! So, be sure to pick and choose your dates wisely! Or hey, why not just go see them all!
One of the biggest reasons why I love Montreal so much is because there's such a diverse and huge group of people who live here. We've got people creating things, doing things, living their best lives - it's honestly such an awesome population.
After starting off her company in her parents' basement, Tiffany Youssef's Tea You has shot to popularity. The Montreal-based clothing brand has recently become a favourite of Kylie Jenner and Joyce Bonneli, one of the Kardashian's makeup artists.
Honestly, is there anything Sterling Downey can't do? He's a City Councillor in Verdun, co-founder of the Fresh Paint Gallery and founder of the Under Pressure Festival, and is the Homelessness and Animal Management critic for Projet Montreal. To say that Sterling Downey spent 2016 doing amazing things would be an understatement. It's more like he's been spending his life doing amazing things, to be honest.
Chrissy Sgourakis owns Haute Balloon, the first luxury balloon shop in Montreal; and let me tell you, she is killing it. In 2016, her work has been pretty much everywhere. Chances are, if you've ever been to an event and have been seriously amazed by an array of gorgeous, larger-than-life, specialty balloons, then you know exactly where it came from.
This Quebecoise journalist is based in New York City; this year, she launched her second book, 300 Reasons To Love San Francisco, featuring pictures and moments that'll make you fall in love with the city.
This Montreal-based interior designer and founder of La Chambre Design Co. has some serious skills, which seriously shined throughout the year. Some of her more notable projects this year? Montreal's Kampai Garden (!), A5 Hospitality, and Billie Le Kid, to name a few.
These three entrepreneurs are the brains behind Montreal's Atelier New Regime. This year, the super popular fashion brand launched their first flagship store in Montreal, helping to cement Montreal's status as one of the most stylish spots in North America.
The owners of Montreal-based swimwear line Salty Bikini, these two friends combined their respective skills in business and design to create a business they truly loved. Taking inspiration from the sand, sun, and water, this beachy swimwear line has only opened up earlier this year, but is already gaining a whole lot of popularity.
The son of business mogul Laurence Stroll, Lance Stroll's talent lies in racing. By his Instagram account, it's clear that he spent the year practicing and honing his racing skills - and all this practice paid off, as he is set to be the world's youngest F1 driver.
To say that Kimberly Lallouz has done a lot this year would be a huge understatement. After being a chef for Miss Pret A Manger and Resto Bar Monsieur, Kimberly opened up Montreal's Le Bird Bar in November. Not only that, but she also hosted "Les Garden-Partys de Kimberly" on Zeste this year, too!
You've probably noticed a whole lot of this Montrealer's work a whole lot throughout the city - and that's because this Montreal-based street artist is both hard working and extremely talented. In early 2016, his work was featured in a bunch of events and on a whole lot of super cool merchandise.
Honestly, I'll always admire people who pursue their dreams - and Montrealer Ver Sepasi is doing just that. Combining her love of travel and photography into a career, this Montrealer has spent the year travelling, taking pictures, and making a living off of her two passions. Goals AF.
Helping to put Montreal music on the map, Frederick Durand (AKA Snails) has spent the later half of 2016 touring in the U.S. and gathering a massive following. This DJ and producer might have slayed in 2016, but 2017 looks even brighter for this Montreal-based artist.
If you're in Montreal, you know exactly who Antonio Park is. This celebrity chef is involved in tons of awesome projects. Notably, he owns Park and Lavanderia restaurants, among many others; in 2016, he opened up Kampai Garden, and although Park suffered damage from a Westmount fire late in the year, it quickly recovered and returned better than ever.
The owner of Beachclub and one seriously awesome Snapchat (and Instagram!) account, Olivier Primeau has spent pretty much all of 2016 doing amazing things. I feel like he's Montreal's version Scott Disick, except a whole lot more awesome.