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!!

5 steps to get you that summer body you have always wanted.

Summer is here and now is the best time to take control of your life and get your body into the shape that you always wanted.  It generally takes a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks before you will notice results and even longer to reach long term physical goals. Here are some awesome steps that will help you get there:

1: Work out with weights.The right kind of weight training for women can be extremely beneficial for good health and for achieving your visible physical goals. Many people believe weight training does not burn calories, but this is untrue. Weight training, if done correctly, has been proven to burn more calories than most cardiovascular activities. Resistance training builds muscle tissue/ connective tissue, strengthening bones and improves vitality.

2: Eat more healthy meals a day in order to speed up your metabolism you must eat less and eat more often. 3 big meals a day is not going to help you lose weight. 6 smaller meals of healthy food is going to get you just that bit closer to achieving your goal. Remember that this is 6 healthy meals. A lot of people don’t realize that about 70% of weight loss is in your diet.

3. Drink more water. Ditch those sodas and start drinking more water. We all know that sugar drinks go straight to the hips but so can the diet drinks as well. Diet drinks can make your body produce extra insulin which can in turn make you put weight on. In addition to flushing out the toxins out of your system, drinking water encourages you to build muscle. The average person should drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day and more when you are training. It is advised that you drink room temperate water as it absorbs much quicker into the system. Especially when training and in turn it should avoid you bloating and have it sitting in your stomach.

4. The correct cardio training. Doing the correct cardio training is extremely important. A good balance of exercises is also needed to avoid the body from reaching a plateau. Mix it up with running, cycling, swimming and even a variety of sports. Also make sure you mix it up with interval training and not just the same repetitive motion. Jog or walk for a while and then sprint for a period of time. You need to constantly shock your system.

5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can be one thing that if had to excess can ruin all of your great eating and training. A lot of our clients don’t realize how high in calories alcohol is by itself not to mention how bad some of the mixers can be for you. Then what do you do when you wake up the next day? I know that the first thing I feel like doing after having a couple drinks the night before is call up the nearest burger place and eating the fattest burger there. Because your body is trying to break down the calories from the alcohol, this burger will pretty much store straight in the body as fat. So if you do feel the need to drink, make sure that the next days food intake is extremely healthy.

These are 5 easy steps that if all done correctly will help you get into shape for summer. None of these should be overlooked. If you are going to have a go, make it a good one. Good Luck.

How To Recover From Injury Faster

In order to achieve wellness, optimal performance and/or full recovery from injury or illness a combination of movement and exercise, nutrition and hydration, rest and recovery, and thought and stress control are necessary.

Movement and Exercise:

The right type and amount of exercise stimulates the growth and strengthening of injured tissues and is vital to the healing process following an injury.

Nutrition and Hydration:

It is important to eat the right amount and right type of food to ensure that specific nutrients are available for tissue repair. Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential to allow hydration of your joints, allowing your cartilage, discs and nerves to function normally.

Rest and Recovery:

Your body heals when you rest. It is important to get a balance with the right amount of exercise versus the right amount of rest. At nighttime your body undergoes its physical repair between the hours of 11pm and 1am.

Thought and Stress Control:

Excessive stress, extreme emotional responses and negative thought patterns may all interfere with the healing process.

Your physiotherapist is able to discuss all of these components with you giving you advice and information on how you can manage these factors to achieve the best results for your injury.

Don’t forget your exercise recovery is just important as the training you do

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So many times in the Physiotherapy practice we get our clients asking how to improve performance, but commonly recovery is hugely overlooked. Marcel Gyde – Physiotherapist @ Bureta Physio takes you through some of the basics of exercise recovery to making sure you get the most out of your training.

You put the hard work in so now reap the rewards and recover well

Successful exercise and sport has a basis of quality training set around duration, frequency and intensity, with an important ingredient of recovery, as a means to adapt, improve and capitalise on training. All to often in physiotherapy we see many athletes suffering conditions related to fatigue, conditions of strain that can be avoided through successful exercise recovery programmes and tips.

HYDRATION – recovery and hydration begins before sport and exercise takes place, temperature and intensity are important aspects to consider, 1% loss of body water effects VO2 max output, increases heart rate and decreases alertness. For 20 minutes of exercise 300 ml of fluid needs to be consumed pre-event. Post event 1 litre of fluid for every kilogram of weight lost during event, measuring pre and post event can help with this equation. Electrolytes and recovery drinks can form important nutrient recoveries for the body, which is best 30 minutes post event, when muscles uptake of glycogen is at its optimum. A 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is best for replenishment of glycogen stores and muscle repair, many recovery drinks fit this bill, as does low fat chocolate milk as a cheaper easy option.

FOOD – High quality carbohydrates are essential in optimal recovery, 7-12grams per kilogram of body weight is necessary to replenish muscle glycogen stores. An easy snack that contains 50 grams of carbs is 2 slices of toast with banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. High quality protein is essential for muscle repair, 15-25 grams of protein should be consumed one hour post event. A favourite meal post exercise is pasta with chicken and vegetables which covers all the essential carbs, proteins and fat.

MUSCLE RECOVERY – Compression garments can aid in minimising tissue swelling, promote blood flow back to the heart and help with lactic acid recovery. There are several clothing brands now on the market but make sure the garment is tight but not constricting.
Static stretching post event can increase blood flow to muscles, improve range of motion and speed up recovery and promote injury prevention. It’s important to only stretch warm muscles, and the muscles you have used in your exercise or sport. Stretch slowly with no bouncing, and breath through stretches not holding breath, current time frames of 45 seconds to a minute for each stretch, re potions dependant on tightness and previous effort.
Ice baths are beneficial, they cause blood vessels to constrict, forcing out blood with waste products, such as lactic acid, from the muscles. No more than 10minutes of ice bath, I usually use a cold pool and for 5-10 minutes, followed by a warm shower to further promote circulation, but usually only on the heavier training days.
Massage can aid in flushing blood in and out of muscles and joints, aiding in reducing waste product stagnation, improving circulation, helping injury prevention and reducing muscle tightness and imbalances. Oboe rollers are becoming very popular and can be performed by yourself, which saves the cost of massage therapists, as well as not burdening partners with this arduous chore.
Active recovery can be another solution to good recovery, Low Intensity activity boosts circulation which removes lactic acids and promotes faster recovery, a talking pace with minimal exertion is paramount to this modality of recovery.

SLEEP – a good nights sleep, plus little nana naps are essential to good recovery, the body releases growth hormones and testosterone which aid in muscle repair and weight loss, as well as boosting immune system. It’s also a time for your brain to rest, your body to heal and repair post exercise. If it’s a nana nap on the cards, 45 minutes of sleep is optimal for physiological benefits to take place.

So there is the exercise recovery plan, hopefully a few good ideas in there to help your body into its next great sporting effort. Marcel Gyde

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