Anyone been watching Le Tour de France? I know Daniel (one of our friendly Myotherapists) has been pulling all-nighters to watch the live action. I think he is crazy, I’m just as happy with the video updates! My Dad does it too, I’m sure there’s lots of avid Tour de France watchers out there currently sleep deprived wondering what I am on about! Well today’s blog is for you, it’s also for the parents whose children aren’t sleeping through the night, people who are woken by some kind of pain in the night and then can’t get back to sleep, women going through menopause who are woken with hot flashes, pregnant women having to get up to go to the toilet for the hundredth time, insomniacs, midnight foodies and so on…
Sleep deprivation is a serious thing. I need at least 7 hours in the summer and 8 hours in the winter! Everyone is different with how much sleep they need, some only need as little as 5 to be a functioning humanoid and others need 9 hours all year round! Recently a lot of research has been circulating as to the importance of sleep and what it does for our brains, our immune systems, our bodies ability to repair and so on but it is a fact of life that from time to time we can end up with a bit of ‘sleep debt’ so here are my top 3 tips for surviving!
You can call this a mini-nap or nana-nap if you prefer. It’s not the name that counts so don’t get too hung up on the word meditation. If you have only been able to get a few hours sleep before your day begins and a full days work is ahead a 5 min power-
nap or meditation session will do you the world of good to get through the day. I have recently read about some high performing CEO’s that do this all the time! Start with 5 minutes as the car warms up or on the train (set an alarm in case you fall asleep!), take another 5 at morning tea, take 10 minutes at lunch if you can, another 5 as you again ride the train home or warm the car up to head home, another 5 minutes before or after dinner perhaps; before you know it you will have added 30 minutes of rest into your day; you will be amazed at how much better it makes you feel, and how much more productive you will be at work! I use the app ‘HeadSpace’ which has single 5 minute and 10 minute sessions you can have a go at, there are lots of great free audios you can get online and have ready to go on your phone or ipod as well. Also once your sleep deprivation has ended, remember to pay back your sleep debt with a few early nights!
There are a few things to mention around mindfulness and before we get too far into the topic, again if you prefer we can call it observing, paying attention, taking a chill-pill; whatever you want to call it is fine with me! When we are sleep deprived we can tend to get a little short with those around us. Our loved ones usually cop the brunt of it but co-workers, co-commuters and baristas can all be on the end of the shorter fuse. If you feel frustration starting to erupt, try to remind yourself it’s just the lack of sleep taking over your brain and emotions; and instead, take a deep breath and observe your surrounding more closely. You might pick up that the coffee shop is short staffed or that your co-worker has also been watching the race and therefore is also sleep deprived! Just noticing these things can be enough to switch your mood back to your happy smiley self! One more thing to mention around mindfulness…try not to pile on yourself when you are sleep deprived. Try to do one task at a time, don’t even check Facebook or Instagram, no multitasking allowed! It will make your day go much more smoothly!
Increase Immune Boosting Foods
This time of year there are lots of bugs around and sleep deprivation can make you more vulnerable to catching them so make sure you increase your intake of foods high in nutrients, anti-microbial herbs and so on. It is also a good idea to avoid sugar, alcohol & too much caffeine because they do the opposite – they lower your immune system and leave you more vulnerable. Enjoy loads of vegetables, adequate protein, healthy fats, fresh water, herbs such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger
and cinnamon! If you’re thinking of grabbing a third coffee, try a Crio Bru (ground cacao beans brewed like coffee also has anti-bacterial properties and is high in magnesium among loads of other benefits) or a matcha green tea instead. A bulletproof coffee in the morning can give you more sustained energy until lunch time as well. Prepare meals ahead of time or keep it simple; simple meals can be yummy too and only take around 10 minutes to throw together, if you need some tips, let me know!
I hope you enjoy the rest of Le Tour de France if that’s been the cause of your sleep deprivation lately. If you decide to increase your bike riding or tackle a race such as Around The Bay or The Great Victorian Bike Ride Myotherapy is great for combating injuries or niggles and can help with pre and post race too. If you’d like to have your bike fitting looked at, make sure you book with Daniel on Saturdays and bring your bike along, obviously! Take care everyone, and as usual if you have any questions please comment or write me a personal email at [email protected]