Did you know that humans spend roughly a third of their lives sleeping? Even though we sleep to “rest”, your body and brain really need that down time to keep your body functioning optimally. In the U.S., 62% of our population experiences sleep problems several nights per week. We know there’s mounds of evidence that poor sleep can lead to a myriad of health issues such as diabetes, dementia, increased fall risks, to name a few. So how does your team at I.P. address your sleep health when typically, your sessions at the clinic are far from restful?!? Because an added bonus from your PT sessions and a question we are always interested in throughout your rehab process – are you sleeping better?
Sleep quality and pain perception are inversely related. The worse sleep you get, the higher sensitivity to pain you have. The more pain you have, the harder it is to get to sleep, stay asleep, and sleep efficiently. Poor sleep over the lifespan is closely related to cardiovascular issues, depression, anxiety, cognitive function and impairs motor skill learning. All of these contributing factors can make the rehab process slower than it should, or could be.
The therapists at I.P. care about how you’re sleeping – we ask questions about whether symptoms flare at night, how your symptoms vary before and after waking. The immune system works in synchrony with your body’s sleep-wake cycle. We have pro-inflammatory processes that enable our body’s immune response to be working overtime while we sleep. Additionally, our stress systems (like the sympathetic nervous system) downregulate during sleep, allowing us to fight off illness and promote tissue healing in the body.
The work we do at I.P. promotes a healthy sleep-wake cycle during your sessions, and our therapists are able to make specialized sleep hygiene recommendations to help your sleep cycle improve. Exercises or postural adjustments to your sleep habits can also help to reduce disturbances that are causing sleep disruption.
Check out this gentle exercise that’s simple to perform right before bed!
Taking a break from movement…what about sleep?Jennifer Valerio2022-06-22T22:35:50+00:00
The days are getting shorter, the air is crisp and cool (and kind of gloomy)…We’ve been hearing consistently across our patient groups that the motivation to move is down and the craving for comfort foods are up. Did you know that physical activity levels decline significantly in the winter months? This seasonal decline in activity is connected to higher blood pressure, increased body fat and many other health related problems (Shepard & Aoyagi, 2009). The color changes this fall sure have been exceptionally beautiful, but your I.P. team wants to help keep you moving as we transition into winter months!
We know as the weather cools down and days get shorter it gets increasingly difficult to exercise – especially before the opportunities for winter activities begin. Keeping up with exercise and eating nutritious meals are ways to combat the season change in activity and boost your energy levels. Your I.P. Team wants to give you some tips to keep the body, mind and spirit hardy as we head into hibernation season!
Exercise of the Month – Bear Crawl [into hibernation]
Getting outside to exercise may not be as much of an option in the fall and winter for many people. Dr. John and Dr. Lindsey recommend a simple exercise that you can do at home in any open space to stave off the seasonal slump. Try adding this Slider Bear Crawl for 8-10 reps for 2-3 sets to keep your low back stable and your core strong! From this 4-point position, slide feet back to a plank position and return to starting. For more simple exercises you can do at home or modifications, don’t forget to ask Dr. John, Dr. Lindsey or Jen when you come in for your appointment.
Tag us on social media when trying these exercises out!
We can’t talk about staying healthy through seasonal changes outside of our control, without talking about mental health. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) effects 5-10% of the U.S. population. If you’re feeling the winter blues, you’re not alone! Some ideas to help lift your spirits:
Get outside when you can for some Vitamin D
Stay in touch with friends and family
Join a group activity, take a class with a friend
Stay safe and stay warm!
Shephard, R. J., & Aoyagi, Y. (2009). Seasonal variations in physical activity and implications for human health. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 107(3), 251–271. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-009-1127-1