Podcast - Rest & Sleep
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
In this episode, Dr O talks about the importance of rest and the difference between sleep and rest. He outlines three steps that will help you train your body to get a better night's sleep and how good rest will improve many parts of your life.
This episode is also available on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.
Episode: Rest and Sleep
The following is a transcript from Dr Okojie’s Movement is Medicine podcast. Book your appointment with Doctor O today.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Movement Is Medicine podcast with Dr Okojie. I'm your host, Doctor O. I wanted to touch upon something that can help us, as many of us basically are still mired in the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are still at home, many of us are still on without a job or working from home. And I wanted to speak about something that each and every one of us can do to improve our lives. And we have the ability to actually do that today. And that is called proper rest. And I want to make a distinction between sleep and rest.
Many of us understand many of us kind of put them together, we say sleep and rest in the same category. But they're actually two different things. Sleep is when your body completely shuts down, and you're unconscious, as opposed to rest, it looks quite similar, your body shuts down in your unconscious, but the body's actually in repair mode. It's an arrest in recovery mode. So oftentimes, I've heard many people say, and you may have experienced to yourself that you get 10 or 12 hours of sleep, and you wake up and you're not rested. So there's a distinction there, you're out, you're unconscious, you were probably snoring, but you don't wake up refreshed. And so many of us have experienced what we call a power nap, where we only get you know, one or two hours of sleep or even a 30-minute nap, we wake up fully rested and recharged.
I want to talk about the differences between those two, how to ensure that we're getting proper rest while we sleep, and talk about some of the things that kind of prohibit us from doing that. So when you get tired in the night-time, for most of us, we usually you know, start to yawn or I start to get heavy in our body wants to shut down, we're on our circadian rhythm, which is the cycle of the day. When there's less light out, our bodies naturally want to start to shut down to kind of stay in the rhythm of Earth.
But there's many obstacles and things that impede our ability to do that the primary one is a light we have, we have melatonin that's produced in the brain, that's kind of the operator of our sleep wake cycle. And the more melatonin you have, the more likely it is you'll get tired and more likely that you'll get the quality rest that we're looking for. But that is impeded by light.
When we're up late at night watching TV, when we're up late at night, looking at our cell phones, looking at social media, it's impeding melatonin to be released, and it's making it more and more difficult to go to sleep. And some of us get so entrenched in our cycle of watching TV or looking at social media at night-time that we actually need that to go to sleep, we trained our body to only be able to fall asleep if we hear a TV in the background. Or if we have a cell phone in our hand or the remote controlling our hand. And that's throwing off our circadian rhythm. And this oftentimes leads to not feeling rested when you wake up.
So, the rule number one for sure, when you're trying to ensure that you get quality rest and wake up feeling refreshed is to shut down all electronics at least at the very least one hour before you go to bed. So, if you have a goal to go to bed by 10 o'clock by 9pm, cell phone off out of the room, TV shut off, no radio, no nothing. And it may take a while to get used to this because like I said many of us need these things as tools to go to sleep. And if you notice that every night, you need some type of external sound external light TV or cell phone before you can go to sleep, this is a great sign that you actually need this type of therapy. Sleep hygiene as we like to call it.
The number one rule is sleep hygiene at least one hour before you go to bed shut down all electronics. So I hear all the time that people say you know I need to have the cell phone right next to my bed just in case there's an emergency. Well, if you really feel like that, then there's something called loud volume. So put the ringer really, really loud on your phone. But keep it in the next room so that you don't have a cell phone right next to your bed. I mean, a lot of us use Wi Fi. So there's electromagnetic signals that can interfere with our sleep and that are always buzzing around us all the time. Whether you live in an apartment or a house were drowned by the EMF, there's really no way to avoid it. But especially when we're trying to sleep, we want the body to be in rest and recovery mode, we want to try to reduce that as much as possible.
One way to reduce that is to take the cell phone out of the room. If you're not worried about somebody calling you in the middle of the night, you can shut yourself off and keep it next to your bed put the cell phone on airplane mode at the very least if you're going to keep the phone in your room, but that's a way to kind of get out of the electronics before you go to sleep.
Rule number two is to have some type of physical routine before you go to bed. I'm saying do some stretches do some basic deep breathing get the body mentally prepared to shut down because after a long workday, after dealing with the kids, after making dinner, our bodies often stimulated at night, which is contrary to what's going on out in the universe on planet Earth. Typically, when it's dark outside and our planet and the universe is kind of shutting down. Oftentimes that's when we're being stimulated. We're making dinner we're watching our favorite primetime late night TV show we're cooking.
We need to do something physical to signal to ourselves that hey, we're about to shut it down. So, if you check out my Instagram, I'll put a short to night-time stretching movement routine that can help our bodies transition from day to night and from wakefulness to restfulness. That's number two something physical to prepare the body and number one is to remove and eliminate all sources of light EMF and electronics from the system.
Number three sleep in a comfortable position. Invest in comfort when you're going to sleep we spend at least 1/3 of our day, which translates to 1/3 of our life in a sleeping position trying to rest if possible, try to make that as comfortable as you can cotton sheets, pillow Find out what kind of sleeper you are. Your partner can easily tell you that are you a side sleeper? Are you a bad sleeper? We encourage folks not to sleep on their belly. But if you're a belly sleeper, how can you transition into being a side sleeper, if there's pillows out there, there's certain types of beds, there's adjustable beds you can get we all like different fields of things, cotton, bamboo, some people like some synthetic materials, whatever is comfortable for you, if possible, try to incorporate those into your sleep life. Because again, you're spending at least 1/3 of your day 1/3 of your life possibly resting. So you want to make that as comfortable as possible integrating that will not only improve your sleep quality, but I'll just make you feel better.
You know that at night, when you're going to bed, you're transitioning into a place of comfort place that you like in a place that you've customized. Those are the top three tips of pre bed, removing the external stimulus, getting a little bit of movement practice to prepare yourself for sleep and making your sleeping space, your resting space comfortable. And then upon waking. There's a transition process, you just don't hop right out of bed and start to go to work or start to make dinner. So you kind of do things in reverse. You get up out of your comfortable bed that you've created for yourself and you integrate another movement practice and I'll put that one also on my Instagram at the real movement as medicine kind of a morning routine to kind of let the body know that ‘hey, we're transitioning from a restful state to a wakeful state’ and then slowly start to integrate the electronics and the external stimulus when you wake up.
You don't want to immediately wake up and then grab the cell phone and put it on your face. I know so many people that that's their first action is to wake up, roll over on the side of the bed and grab their cell phones and check out the news how many more people have suffered from Coronavirus, what's going on who called what email what's going on with my work that's always going to be there. The outside stimulus and stress is always going to be there so we don't have to rush to get that take some time for yourself.
Wake up in the morning. Check out some of the stretches that I'm going to put on Instagram or create your own! Walk out of bed, take some deep breaths and give yourself some time before you engage in that external stimulus make some time for yourself with that I can pretty much guarantee you that your quality of life will improve if not from the physiology of actually being able to rest and growth hormone being released and cells and tissues and muscles being repaired during that growth hormone release process was takes place primarily between 10:10pm and 2am. Even if that doesn't happen for you the fact that you're able to have a disciplined routine will create positivity in your life for sure.
So, implement some of these practices if not all of them. If you have a question you can shoot it to me on my website www.okojiewellness.com or you can send me a direct message on Instagram. Most of us are quarantined or sheltered in place to let's just do this for the next two weeks implement one or all of these tips that I've given and see if your mood your recovery after exercise, your ability to handle stress the feeling that you have when you wake up let's see if all of those things can improve. Until next time!
I hope this was helpful today. Feel free to check out any of the previous Movement is Medicine podcast episodes. You can find us on Instagram or online at www.okojiewellness.com to learn and find out about all things wellness and stay tuned for upcoming podcasts.
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