What do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?
If you picked sleep, you would be right.
Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all-nighter"?
In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.
If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.
Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:
- Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
- Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
- Set an alarm to go to bed.
- Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
- Have protein for breakfast.
- Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
- Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
- Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Have a bedtime routine.
- Dim the lights as evening falls.
- Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
- Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.
Originally Published: June 18, 2018
Dr. Michelle Durkin, BSC(H), ND, Contributor and Bowen Practitioner at Quinte Naturopathic Centre
+ Read Bio
Dr. Michelle Durkin attended the University of Guelph and obtained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biomedical Science. With this medical background, she went on to study at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and graduated as a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine in 2003. Dr. Durkin founded her clinic, the Quinte Naturopathic Centre. As a Naturopathic Doctor she is very committed to providing excellent individualized health care in a warm and professional environment. Michelle is also a professional Bowenwork® practitioner. In addition, Dr. Durkin holds professional memberships with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND).
Written by Dana Goodfellow, RMT, D.Ac. Owner – Quinte Mind & Body
Now that fall is upon us and the beautiful colours of nature are everywhere in sight, this usually calls for frequent excursions and
road trips. Most of us hop in the car and take advantage of visiting the cities, cottages, trails and beautiful wine country we live so close to. Whether it’s just for the day or for an extended period of time, you want to avoid those aches and pains that come with driving long distances.
Here are my top five tips for preventing driving stiffness and pain:
1. Properly adjust your seat and headrest. You should continue the rule of 90 degrees with each joint when you are seated. This means your hips and elbows should be as close to 90 degrees of flexion as you can get them. Your head should be straight forward, creating that 90 degree angle at your chin, not angled up or down. Make sure your head is actually in line with your shoulders and resting against your headrest. We often extend our neck and head forward when driving, this creates strain and bad posture, which turns into pain and headaches.
2. Perform easy and safe stretches when possible. When you are at a stop light is a good time to do simple neck stretches and re-correct your posture.
3. Take frequent breaks to get out of the car and stretch your lower body and walk around. This promotes blood flow and loosens joints that will become stiff.
4. If you have heated seats, use them for lower body pain. Even in the hot weather having the heat on our muscles in our low back and glutes will prevent and ease any stiffness and tension in muscles.
5. Always plan! If you are driving for a long period of time, make sure you stretch your body well before you get in the car. This will help in the long run and prevent pain from occurring.
If you feel numbness and tingles in any of your extremities, shoulders, glutes or low back while driving, make sure you schedule an appointment with a health care provider. This is usually due to a nerve compression and is easily treatable if caught early. If you are feeling these symptoms or any other that concern you, feel free to contact our office. We would be happy to take care of you.
Dana can be reached at quintemindandbody.com
LIKE OUR BLOG?
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!