Sleep Hygiene

SLEEP

 

If there is one thing I could say to our community right now in order to stay or get healthy is to prioritise SLEEP. The World Health Organisation deems sleep the foundational of the three pillars of health, with diet and exercise being the other two. Studies show that between a third and two thirds of the Western World do not get enough hours of sleep per night.

Sleep has a significant impact on the reduction of both illness and injury and is one of the few interventions that can help prevent both contact and non-contact injuries. Performance research shows us that adequate sleep improves our accuracy, sprint and reaction times as well as the perception of strength and effort. It also has a huge impact on mental health. The brain recalibrates during sleep. It is no surprise then to find out that mood swings, paranoia, depression, anxiety and dementia are all linked to poor sleep.

 

Now back to current times and COVID 19 where prioritizing sleep is important in strengthening our immune system in order to fight off illness particularly when our body is under stress – which currently is more likely to be mental than physical but the body doesn’t have the ability to alter its responses to this.

 

In order to ensure you have a good night’s sleep both sleep rhythm and sleep drive is needed. Sleep drive is the need for sleep ie how tired you are. This can be challenging in the current situation if you aren’t getting as much physical exertion into your day as normal but for many this drive is increased simply from the mental stress of the lockdown and the uncertainties surrounding this. Sleep rhythm is ensuring you have regular sleep and wake times. This is why when you have a night out or stay up late to watch that extra movie even though you feel exhausted you don’t sleep as well.

In an ideal world the majority of adults get around 7.5 hours sleep as a minimum as each sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes and we need 5 of them for a full night’s sleep. This does vary with age. Our children should be getting more as their requirements are greater, given they are growing and the elderly may need less.

Genetics play a part. Early birds or lions make up only 15% of the population. Usually those that are list makers, many CEO’s and those in management make up the large proportion of this group. They are asleep early and up early.

Wolves or night owls on the other hand are categorised as generally being creative personalities, high risk takers, often introverted even if they are extroverted in public life i.e. actors’ musicians authors. Ideally sleep to your rhythm, this gives you the best chance to achieve a good night’s sleep.

 

 

But its not all about quantity.

Sleep is about quantity and quality. Poor sleep is linked with a large number of physical conditions and diseases including increased blood pressure, heart disease, reduced immune function, diabetes, ncreased intensity of pain when pain is felt, weight gain, poor decision making, lower testosterone and lower libido in females.

Most likely it is the relationship between sleep and decision making and reaction times that are likely where the link to injury prevention comes in – more sleep better reaction time and decision making.

 

Food, Vitamins and sleep

Metabolism is affected negatively by sleep deprivation as metabolism slows down. Increased stress results in increased cortisol release which results in increased appetite BUT slower metabolism and therefore fat deposition. We are also more likely to overeat when we are sleep deprived as leptin decreases and this is hormone that tells us we are full.

 

People who are sleep deprived lack vitamin C and Selenium which affects immune function. Things you can try and do to help with this are to put citrus in your water and eat mushrooms or Brazil nuts to boost these vitamins.  B vitamins are essential for good sleep and serotonin levels so eat food rich in B vitamins such as broccoli.

Magnesium helps boost the quality of sleep as it helps regulate your circadian rhythm.. Ensure meals and snacks contain greens, nuts, brown rice and other grains. Bananas are loaded with magnesium so are awesome for sleep.

A lack of vitamin D can cause poor sleep quality. Getting out and about in the sunshine particularly at this time of the year when the sun isn’t too hot(whilst staying within your bubble!) is the most useful way of ensuring adequate Vitamin D.

Salmon is one of the best foods for sleep as it helps melatonin production.

For those that suffer with restless legs – ensure iron intake is sufficient as this is often a cause or part of the picture– eat plenty of spinach, red meat and other iron sources at the same time as consuming vitamin C (ie orange juice) as this increases your iron absorption. Ensure you don’t consume tea or coffee near these meals as these both affect your body’s ability to absorb iron.

 

Supplements and sleep

Melatonin is not good for insomnia; it is for jet lag. It affects the rhythm. It’s a sleep regulator not initiator so really useful for shifting sleep rhythm where appropriate. A lack of melatonin causes shallow sleep, insomnia or regular awakenings so is the other time where it is useful. 1-1.5mg is ideal amount – many are taking far too much/too higher dose. It takes 90 minutes to work so needs to be taken 90 minutes before sleep or blood plasma levels aren’t sufficient to work. Take for right reason, at right time in right amount!

 

On return to normal life

If post lockdown you continue to struggle with sleep go see your GP for an assessment of this. You may require some blood tests to check your levels of Vitamin D, melatonin, iron and magnesium. If this doesn’t give you any answers we can help. Learning strategies to deal with poor sleep can be really useful and one of the most effective with this is correct breathing patterns and breathing exercises to ensure your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and your body and mind is therefore able to wind down and sleep.

 

 

For those who struggle with sleep if you are going to stress about sleep and your lack of it you aren’t likely to get a good night’s sleep so it’s somewhat of a “catch 22”. So where do you start?

Number 1 – PRIORITISE SLEEP – do you really need to watch that movie? Watch one more episode on tv? Play around on your phone when it’s just before bed time?

Know that one nights poor sleep won’t cause you significant issues in the long term. Changing your sleep patterns is a process like any other aspect of improving health and wellness. It takes a plan and the implementation of it.

Sleep hygiene is where to start! If you have any questions on this please send us an email on reception@buretaphysio.co.nz or give us a call on 5761860.

 

IN THE MEANTIME SORT OUT TONIGHTS PLAN!!

Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Concussions – Written by Kimberley Pilbrow (BHSc Physiotherapy)

With the start of another Winter Sports season now upon us, now is a good time for athletes, parents, coaches, officials & supporters to increase their knowledge about concussion.

Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury which occurs when someone receives impact to the head or body causing a force to be transmitted to the brain, ie ‘shaking’ inside the skull. In a concussion injury there is no change to the macro-structure of the brain. Ie there is no permanent damage to the brain. However, there are changes at a micro level, meaning it may take some time to re-access the areas of the brain that were affected.

Historically people believed that to sustain a concussion you must be “knocked out” (loss of consciousness), this is not true- 90% of concussion occur without any loss of consciousness AND Loss of consciousness does not relate to their long-term outcomes. Ie someone who is knocked out may return safely to sport in 3-4 weeks, where as someone who is not may take 3months to recover- there is no relationship between “severity” of concussion and length of recovery.

As Concussion is a brain Injury- there is a wide range of symptoms such as:

Visible Signs:
-loss of consciousness
-slow to get up
-unsteady on feet/poor balance
-poor coordination or inappropriate playing behaviour (eg. standing out of position)
-clutching or grabbing at head
-dazed or confused
-vomiting (>once is of greater concern-take to Emergency Department)
-irritability/changes in emotions

Symptoms:
-dizziness
-headache
-nausea
-drowsiness
-“don’t feel right”
-blurred vision
-difficulty concentrating/remembering

If you (or your child) have an incident like this and have one or more of the following symptoms you should:
1) Be removed from sport immediately
2) Monitored by an adult
3) Seek Medical Attention from your GP or Concussion Trained Physiotherapist (Click here for our team)

A full list of symptoms can be found HERE– the Concussion Recognition Tool is a great resource for parents & coaches

Assessment and Treatment of Concussion:
A concussion must be diagnosed by a health professional. Examination from your Physiotherapist will include a group of tests as required including; SCAT5 or SCAT5 Child Assessment (Symptoms, Neurocognitive processing, Balance), Assessment of neck pain and movements, Neurological Exam, and Eye & Head Movements.
Treatment of each concussion is individual- REST IS NOT BEST!!
Your Physiotherapist will work with you on starting appropriate activities EARLY to aide a gradual return to daily activities (highly supported by research), followed by return to work/school and then return to sport. Your treatment plan may include; education about pacing activities, treatment of the neck joints and muscles, relearning eye tracking movements and gradual exercise progressing back to full function including work and sport specific tasks.

Key Points:
-90% of concussions occur without being knocked out
-If you suspect a concussion, remove the athlete from play IMMEDIATELY
-Seek Medical Assessment from someone trained in Concussion
-Rehabilitation is INDIVIDUALISED
-REST IS NOT BEST!
If you have had a concussion, Bureta Physiotherapy will work with you, your family and your doctor to take you through the required steps for full return to function-including sport, school or work.
Early Diagnosis is important for monitoring symptoms and guiding appropriate rehabilitation, contact us TODAY to book an appointment or discuss if our acute concussion service is right for you.

 

Written by Kimberley Pilbrow

 

 

Are you breathing right?

Do any of these sound like you?

  • Do you struggle with persistent neck or back pain?
  • Struggle with breathlessness during sport, exercise or activities of daily living when you are otherwise healthy?
  • Do you regularly have pins and needles in your hands or feet?
  • Do you have cold or sweaty clammy hands or feet regularly?
  • Do you yawn excessively?
  • Do you suffer from Asthma, allerties, rhinitis, hay fever, sinusitis
  • Do you suffer from facial or jaw pain, Tinnitus
  • Do you suffer from reflux?
  • Have you struggled with your breathing since hospital admissions/surgeries
  • Do you suffer from Panic attacks or chronic anxiety
  • Are you an athlete who isn’t performing at a level that is appropriate to your underlying fitness level?

Research shows that Breathing pattern disorders affect up to 10 – 30% of the general population and atleast 30% of those with asthma.

Faulty breathing patterns can be caused by a variety of reasons from bereavement to tight clothes, from a history of abuse to chronic sinusitis to sitting poorly. Whatever the cause the first step is in addressing and correcting this faulty pattern as the cycle it sets us on otherwise continues to strengthen the effects it has.

Faulty breathing patterns affect different people in different ways. Some patients are more inclined to mental distress, fear, anxiety and co-existing loss of self-confidence. Others may exhibit musculoskeletal and more physical symptoms such as neck and shoulder problems, chronic pain and fatigue. Many are a combination of both mental, emotional and physical factors.

All babies are nose breathers and unfortunately during our lives many of us for a  variety of reasons become habitual mouth breathers. This has a signifcant effect on physcial, physiological and chemical processes in our bodies. The number one aim of the Bradcliffe breathing programme is to restore your ability to nose breath and as a result of this correct a large number of variables that can occur.

In the Western World we seem to have become addicted to “doing”. We are highly prone to stress and anxiety and we struggle to relax. We are stimulation addicts and there are now even things developing such as “Email apnoea” where we hold our breathe when we are emailing. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles contribute to postures that make correct breathing more difficult but even our elite athletes are affected with breathing pattern disorders which can have significant effects on their performance.

For more information email jacinta@buretaphysio.co.nz or blair@buretaphysio.co.nz ring 075761860 to book an hour appointment with Jacinta or Blair in order to have your breathing programme started today!

Breathing -Its effects on our health, and the basics

How we breathe affects
 our health and wellness.
You can use this exercise to help you develop the relaxed, natural breathing that your body is designed for.

If you practice this exercise regularly, it’ll become a habit. You’ll feel more relaxed and energetic.

Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down to do this exercise at first. As you practice, you’ll be able to do it easily in most situations – while standing, walking, playing sport or sitting at your
desk at work, for example.

Choose a time and place where you won’t be disturbed.

Lie on your back comfortably. It may help to have 
a pillow under your head and knees. You could also sit in a comfortable chair. You may like to close your eyes.
Place one hand on your belly, with your other hand resting by your side.
Gently close your mouth, lips together, and keep your jaw loose.
Breathe in gently through your nose, keeping your upper chest relaxed and not moving. Feel your belly rise and your waist expand as you breathe in. Your breath should be silent and not forced.
Breathe out lightly through your nose, without forcing, keeping your belly relaxed.
Relax and pause at the end of each breath out. Notice how fully you can breathe out.
As you repeat this exercise, concentrate on ‘letting go’
of any tension in your body – especially in your jaw, neck, shoulders and hands.
Repeat these gentle, relaxing breaths as many times as you like but perhaps for a minimum of five or 
six breaths. Then repeat a few times a day, fitting around your usual routine – for example, before you get up in the morning, when you’re relaxing in the evening, and when you get into bed at night.
(If you have trouble breathing through your nose, you may need to see your doctor and get some treatment for that).

There are a number of App’s that can help with this but also the physiotherapists at Bureta can help with breathing retraining

RELAXING MORE DEEPLY

• Lie or sit in a comfortable position.

• Starting with your toes, tighten them and hold for two or three seconds, then relax your toes and let go. Repeat this with your calves, thighs, buttocks, back, shoulders, neck, face and jaw.

• When you’re feeling relaxed
all over, place one hand on your chest and your other hand on your belly at the level of your belly button.

• Notice how you’re breathing: Which part of your body rises and falls as you breathe in and out? Now practice your relaxed breathing technique.