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Author: corehealthchiro

North Loop Minneapolis

North Loop Minneapolis

Chiropractors proudly serving North Loop Minneapolis and Downtown Minneapolis.  Massage therapy, infared sauna, dry needling, cupping, personal training exercise and fitness all available. Located next door to Spoon and Stable in the Fischer Box building. 221 N. 1st St., Suite 150, Minneapolis MN 55401 Ph: […]

Chiropractors and Whiplash

Chiropractors and Whiplash

A chiropractor knows that one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents is a whiplash, especially in rear-end collisions. A whiplash occurs when the head and neck are snapped from the back to the front. The movement is similar to what a whip […]

Hit the Snooze Button

Hit the Snooze Button

Sleep

What Does All This Sleep Mean?

Sleep plays a role in many of our bodies functions, such as our long-term memory, cognitive function, alertness and reaction time, hormone regulation and tissue regeneration to name a few. It also accounts for roughly a third of our lives. Many of us think of going to bed as the end of the day, when in reality it is the start of the following day. To assess whether or not you are getting enough restful sleep ask yourself “do I feel rested when I wake up in the morning or more rested before going to bed?” If you feel less rested in the morning you are likely not getting enough sleep or enough restful sleep and should consider implementing one of the following tips.

Researchers suggests that 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night allows the body to appropriately go through the proper sleep cycles for maximum restfulness. The first sleep cycle is known as the non-rapid eye movement. NREM lasts 70 to100 minutes, and accounts for majority of total sleep time. During NREM heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop and allows your heart to relax. During this cycle, motor skills that were learnt the previous day are engrained. Additionally, the body becomes disconnected and is able to achieve a true resting state. During which point, growth hormone (GH) is at its highest. The elevated levels of GH enable tissue maintenance and building soft tissue, immune system support and fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate metabolism. The final sleep cycle is the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle. The REM cycle occurs 4 to 6 times per night and lasts 10-16 minutes. Here, the body is twitchy and the mind races. Heart rate and blood flow to the brain is increased due to the increased brain function. As mentioned previously, this cycle allows absorption of complex thoughts, creativity, and perceptual skills acquisition. As you can see sleep is a complicated procedure that our body and mind must prepare for to allow for restful sleep.

Preparing to fall asleep is just as important as actually sleeping. It’s best to start preparing for bed when the sun goes down and it starts getting dark out. At this time, melatonin production increases. Melatonin is a (natural) hormone produced by the body, which stimulates the urge to fall asleep. Melatonin production can be decreased by blue light. Sources of this light include fluorescent and LED bulbs, and all electronic devices. Because blue lights decrease the production of melatonin it is important to limit the amount of exposure during the time you are preparing for bed; following sunset. Ways of avoiding blue light contact at night include the use of blue light blocking glasses, changing the setting on your phone to night shift or downloading a blue light filter app such as the one from justgetflux.com. Blue light is just one of the many reasons why you may have trouble falling and staying asleep. Here are a few ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to maximize your sleep.

DO

Get consistent – Creating a routine that promotes you falling asleep each night within a 30-minute window of going to bed and waking up consistently at the same time each morning. Creating consistency allows the body to maximize the production of melatonin, and have it peak at the same time each day. This will ultimately allow the body to maintain a stable circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is our bodies 24-hour clock that dictates when we wake up and fall asleep. Think about those times when you naturally wake up in the morning without your alarm. That is your internal clock that has become programmed to that time.

Get active – Vigorous physical activity during the day will help you sleep. Physical activity stresses the nervous system and the body. By doing so, this promotes the body’s desire to rest from the implied stress.

Clear your mind – If you spend hours thinking about all the things you need to get accomplished the next day this one is important. A simple fix for this is to create a to do list. By doing so this you promote a restful state for your mind, and allows your body to relax because you know longer have to worry about forgetting to do something. Or worrying about what all needs to be taken care of because it’s all written down.

Block out your surroundings –  White noise machines are a great way to mask noises and avoid being startled when sleeping. They also can be soothing for individuals, which promotes relaxation for the body. All of which will contribute to a more restful sleep. If you don’t want to splurge on a machine, utilizing a fan is a great alternative.

Optimize your temperature – Prime sleeping temperature is between 65 to 68 degrees. A cool room is in important for restful sleep so that your body can appropriately dissipate heat and get into the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle. Getting enough time in the REM cycle is important because brain function is ramped up, allowing complex thoughts to be absorbed, perceptual skills acquired and creativity to be at work.

Turn your mind off – Reading before going to sleep is a very effective way of turning your mind off and separating yourself from all the events that happened throughout the day. Doing so allows your parasympathetic (rest and digest) system to kick in and aids in maintaining that 30-minute window of falling asleep that was talked about earlier. It is also a great alternative to spending time on social media, which will help reduce your exposure to blue lights prior to bed.

DON’T

Eat a large meal – Eating a large meal prior to bed turns your digestive system on and delays you from falling asleep. When your digestive system is turned on, it shifts your body’s focus from relaxing to processing what you just consumed. Additionally, avoid high volumes of fluids prior to sleep because the urge to urinate mid sleep cycle will inhibit a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

Consume caffeine – The half-life of caffeine is 6 hours, meaning that the increased heart rate, alertness and energy will take 6 hours to lose half of its effect and can prevent some individuals from falling asleep.

Spend time in front of a screen – As previously mentioned, blue light inhibits melatonin production and therefore it’s important to minimize your exposure prior to bed. It’s also important for our brains to slow down and enter a relaxation state as we get ready for bed. Watching TV is stimulating to the mind, so it is a good idea to avoid TV and your electronic devices for an hour before your established bed time.

If you feel you are not getting enough sleep and aren’t feeling rested in the morning consider implementing some of these strategies. However, while you are mastering your bedtime route and increasing your sleep productivity, napping make help to fill those hours you need. It has been shown that napping has a summative effect and can make up for lost sleep from the previous night. A quick power nap, of less than 30 minutes, is best for a ‘recharge of the battery’. If you are wanting to have a longer nap that fits into the sleep cycle, nap for at least an hour and a half. That length of nap includes both the NREM and REM cycle, so you will achieve the benefits of resting both the body and the mind. Keep in mind, it is important to consider the time you nap and whether it will inhibit your ability to fall asleep in the 30-minute window you have set out for bedtime. Naps should not take away from getting a good sleep at night.

If all else fails and you are still struggling, it’s recommended to seek the care of a trained professional.

Resources

Sleep: A Clinical Management Factor. Sleep Sciences and Research

www.howsleepworks.com/types_nonrem.html

http://www.bluelightexposed.com/#what-is-bue-light

The Adjustment

The Adjustment

What do chiropractors do, and how can we help you? Chiropractors are experts of the spine. We go to school for a minimum of 3 years prior to being accepted into chiropractic college. From there, we go through a rigorous doctorate degree that encompasses many […]

Listen Up!

Listen Up!

Auditory Acuity of self. I’ve been around the health and fitness industry a long time, which means I’m getting old, but it has allowed me to personally commit all the mistakes I see patients come into the clinic with.   For the purposes of this article, […]

Stop Drop & Roll

Stop Drop & Roll

Self-Talk : What you Tell Yourself Directly Impacts your Health

We read it all of the time, the person you spend the most time with is yourself.  We obviously know this to be true, but if we get deep for a moment, you actually realize you are with yourself EVERY moment of your life.  That is a lot of time together.  In that time you spend with yourself you are likely “talking” to yourself, consciously and sub-consciously.  What you say can have a profound impact your health.

In the past year I have a worked a lot on negative self-talk.  I often found (and still find) myself telling myself something seemingly innocuous as “gosh Amy you sucked at that workout today, you are the slowest runner on the planet” to something more obvious like “wow, you probably do not need a desert today you are looking hefty.”  This kind of nonsense seeps into our brains and takes up unnecessary space.  What we tell ourselves continuously, we unintentionally start to become.  If I tell myself I am the worst runner then I likely begin to avoid running.  If I restrict myself from desert based on some self-imposed critique I begin to deem yummy food as “bad” and will probably propel myself right into a binge in the future.  It is a slippery slope but we have the power to change.

I challenge you to change the narrative.  The next time you want to put yourself down apply the “stop, drop and roll” theory – yes it is that drastic!

  • STOP – ask yourself, would I tell my best friend this? Would I say this to my child, my parent  and would I say it OUT LOUD?  Would I tell ANYONE this, other myself this?  Likely, if you are at this step, the answer is a hard NO.  We can be our own worst enemies and it is time to be more kind to ourselves.  So if you would not say this to someone else, do not say it to yourself.
  • DROP – change the narrative. Drop the negative for a positive…right then and there. Find something kind to tell yourself.  Instead of harping on how slow you are, give yourself a high-five for making to the gym, getting out of bed that morning or heck, congratulate yourself for brushing your teeth.  Just change the narrative.  Instead of calling yourself hefty focus on a characteristic you do like that day.  Wow my hair looks great or I love this outfit or I smiled at that person on my walk.  ANYTHING kind is better.
  • ROLL – roll the things that may not be where we want into real change.  If I am slower than I would like to be how can I improve on that?  If I want to feel better in my skin what steps can I take to get there?  Recognition of want to change can be the catalyst to start the process.

Yes, we all have bad days.  We have days we do not feel on our game for one reason to another but we are doing our best.  We can recognize these “bad days” and give ourselves a nudge towards change.  Happiness is not a constant.  It is a moving target.  If you acknowledge that it is ok to accept things as they are on this day AND remind yourself that you are working towards a better tomorrow, your health goals and lifestyle improvement really are in reach.  Decide where you want to go and pat yourself on the back along the way.  Change takes time and a lifetime of reinforcement, giving yourself the strongest foundation is a great start!

 

-Amy Moser, Nutrition Coach

nutrition@uptowncore.com

The Power of the Present

The Power of the Present

The Warrior Way Breathe in.  Breathe out. Right here.  Right now. Begin again and again, all throughout the day There is a definition of a “warrior” that exists out there in the world which I love and has helped shaped who I am and how […]

Meal Prep Hacks!

Meal Prep Hacks!

Would you consider yourself more of an organized planner or a last-minute, go-with-the-flow type of person?  I am definitely an organized planner and like to be prepared for the things I can. One reason why I like to be prepared is because I really dislike […]

Social Enjoyment and Nutritional Anxiety

Social Enjoyment and Nutritional Anxiety

Sunny.  Blue sky.  Longer days.  It must be getting close to summer here in Minnesota.  We never know if a mid-June snow storm will interrupt those plans, BUT one thing is for sure, patio season has arrived.

The vitamin D is fantastic for our health and mood, however, when spring and summer roll around we often find ourselves with invites to more weekday happy hours and weekend get-togethers.  The summer holidays bring barbeques and outdoor ball games bring hotdogs, beers and my all-time favorite, soft pretzels.  One thing many of us struggle with is how to balance having a social life, especially during the resurgence of quality weather, with sticking to a healthy life-style.

It is likely unrealistic to eat a 100% clean diet 100% of the time and never leave your house to enjoy an outing with friends and family.  Will this approach grant you a lean body and a six-pack of abs?  Maybe!  I say maybe because no matter how hard we try or how strict we are some of us will never have abs – trust me I know.  However, I challenge you to ask yourself if this sacrifice worth the potential outcome.  For some, the answer may be yes.  Maybe you have goals to be an elite level athlete or a fitness competitor of some sort and this sacrifice is necessary to that process and worth it to you, that is absolutely okay.  I would hazard that most of us do not fall into the above category or if we do, it may be temporarily.  Chances are most of us are in the process of obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  If that is you then the moderation really is the answer.

YES, you can attend social functions and enjoy family and friend get-togethers at any stage of your healthy lifestyle process.  I am including a few tips below to help maximize your social enjoyment while minimizing your nutrition anxiety when the inevitable situations arise.

  • If you have a big night out planned front-load your protein intake for the day – we tend to intake more carbohydrate and fat heavy foods when we go out so including protein with your earlier meals will keep you satisfied and ensure you are more balanced at the end of the day
  • If you have a brunch or a mid-afternoon party maybe elect for two meals versus three hat day since you’ll likely intake more than normal
  • Show up to a gathering having eaten a small (protein heavy) meal close to arriving.  You will feel more full and less likely to pick at foods you may not even really want
  • Have a glass of water for each drink you enjoy
  • Instead of having a full drink try adding a calorie free pairing – you can make a white glass of wine more refreshing and less calorie dense by splitting it with seltzer water – la croix is all the rage these days
  • Check out the menu before you arrive at a restaurant so you can come up with a plan. You can always ask for things to be prepared without oils and butters, dressing on the side, etc.
  • Bring your own healthy dish to a party or barbeque so you know you will have a choice you can enjoy without stress
  • Select a lean meat or fish to pair with an indulgence or pair an indulgent burger with greens
  • Stash a protein bar and or beef jerky in your bag – this can be a great relief if your hunger creeps in and is a convenient choice

Enjoy your life but remember moderation really is key.  One indulgent meal or a fun night out will not sabotage your healthy lifestyle or progress and no food is a bad food.  Life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

If you want to know more about how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and enjoy your life email me!  nutrition@uptowncore.com

 

-Amy Moser

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

How to stay on track during the busy summer We hear it all the time. Balance. Everything in moderation. Too much of something is usually never a good thing.  But how? How do we balance work, fun, stress, nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc? Some people are […]