Sweet Dreams

Restorative and healing powers of sleep

When I treat patients one of things we discuss, especially if their injury or discomfort has been causing an issue for a few months or more, is sleep.

Everyone knows that sleep is great for helping with mood and memory and learning.  There is now research coming out indicating that sleep helps the body heal faster. This can be very important for people struggling with ongoing injuries, aches and pains. Often we are so busy that the one place we can gain more time is by cutting into the golden 7-9 hours of sleep recommended by experts.

How can we improve our sleep?

Firstly, you need to ensure that if you are having consistent trouble with getting enough sleep (or even sleeping to much) that any medical or physical conditions are ruled out. This will require you going to see your GP to ensure that your sleep isn’t due to a treatable condition.

Once physical or medical conditions have been ruled out; then consider behavioural or cognitive factors.

Cognitive factors includes excessive thinking or anxiety or worry.

Actions you can take to help quieten the mind may include;

Meditation  – there are many meditation guidance videos on Youtube to help you

Prayer – there are books available to help or speak to your spiritual guide if there may be a particular theme

Relaxation techniques

Writing down your thoughts as you go to bed/have an notepad beside the bed

 In addition to cognitive factors you also need to make sure you are physically tired. There are a variety of ways behaviour can effect this.   

Exercise: Anything from 10 minutes of exercise/movement onward will help with sleep; Walking, running, cycling or gardening. Any activity that gets you up and moving consistently will help. Strenuous exercise right before going to bed can be unhelpful to some people and be helpful to others.

Naps: Napping through the day does not make up for inadequate sleep at night and can make sleeping issues worse. Limit any daytime nap to one lasting no more than 20-30 minutes. This can help alleviate mood and performance without impairing your night’s sleep. BUT is not enough quality to make up for continuous sleep short falls at night.

Being mentally calm and physically tired helps a great deal; however it is essential that you also use natural light to make the most of our bodies own ability to start the process of telling itself it is time to rest and sleep

Get outside: Have times through the day where you go outside. Our bodies evolved to work with the natural light (and dark) so it is important to spend time outside every day.

Routine for bed: Our bodies respond well to regular routine especially for going to bed. Try having a similar bedtime and wake up every day, including weekends. Have a pattern in the evening, of having time without your phone or computer, winding down with a warm drink and reading from a book if that helps you quieten your mind. Doing similar things each night will be telling your body it is time to sleep.

Avoiding obvious things like caffeinated drinks and playing computer games late in the evening are also helpful as is not having computers or televisions or screens in general in the bedroom.

Recommended amounts of sleep:

Babies ideally have 16-18 hours

School age children and teenagers 9.5hours

Adults under 60 need 7-9 hours a night

Over 60s tend to experience lighter, shorter night time sleep often interrupted – medications also can interrupt sleep

 

The journal that reported they are now seeing evidence of immune response to sleep is:

Journal:​ ​​Tracey J. Smith et al. Impact of sleep restriction on local immune response and skin barrier restoration with and without ‘multi-nutrient’ nutrition intervention. Journal of Applied Physiology. Vol. 124, January 2018, p. 190. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00547.2017.

 

Exciting 2019!

What an exciting couple of weeks I have had!

Firstly I have moved my practice in Shrewton to the Till Orchard Surgery on the High Street in Shrewton.

This provides my patients with ease of parking, a comfortable waiting room to sit in and access to a convenient toilet if necessary. I am excited by this move as it means no longer do people need to be precise about arriving as the last person leaves and no longer does anyone need to feel awkward about requiring use of the facilities, if they get taken short! It also allows me to relax that my next patient has a comfortable seat on arrival and are able to keep warm and dry. Thank you Till Orchard Surgery.

In addition to moving to Till Orchard in Shrewton I have also moved location in Amesbury. So if Shrewton doesn’t work for you I am available in Amesbury at Unit 4, Bluestone Business Centre in Solstice Park.

Secondly, I have signed up to my first marathon. Having been a keen runner for several years now I have never felt compelled to run a marathon. However, I am now all registered to do the Loch Ness Marathon in October this year. I am hoping this gives me personal experience of how it feels to train your body at a higher than usual level, to feel the stresses and strains. Overall, I am hoping my knowledge and training enables me to train for it without injury and enjoy the marathon itself.

This will be of benefit to you, especially those of you I see from a sporting background as I will not be just empathising with you about how it feels to train that bit more but I’ll be able to sympathise. With all the preparation I will be consolidating my sports injury knowledge and how to avoid them (hopefully) or rehabilitate from them (if I am unlucky) so hopefully gains all round!

 

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Please welcome!

I would like you to welcome Emma Haywood to the team. Emma is joining the Stonehenge Osteopath in December. She will be available in Amesbury on a Thursday.

Emma wants to help you feel a sense of good health and well being as well as help keep you active and mobile.

Emma graduated with a Masters in Osteopathy in 2016. She has been working in a busy practice in Portsmouth. She describes herself as a ‘gentle, structural osteopath’. Emma also has an interest in dry needling, which is great for those trigger points!

For those of you suffering with sports injuries you can be reassured that Emma has a particular interest in running and so is familiar and comfortable with people keen on returning to their chosen sport.

Emma serious