Dr. Wells SkydivingOur bodies need rest – When we rest, our bodies repair themselves.

Sleep deprivation takes a toll on our mind, body, and overall health in ways that may surprise you. 85% of mammals take naps throughout the day, while humans just sleep once a day. When you’re sleep deprived, you often feel “worn down” — and that’s a clue that your body is vulnerable to things like infection and illness.

The most important stage of sleep is stage 4 – Rapid Eye Movement. REM is the deepest and most restorative stage. This is when tissue growth and repair occurs, blood supply increases to your muscles, and energy is restored. But most importantly, hormones are released during REM; hormones such as growth hormone, which is essential for muscle development.

Resting just 10 minutes a day can help improve problem solving, memory, perceptual and logical reasoning, and even reaction time. Check out my video on why my patients hold their adjustments longer, and why they are excited to be holding their adjustments.

Check out video here: REST AND RECOVERY

While rest is wonderful for your body, resting for longer then 30 minutes increases the risk of developing “sleep inertia” – that groggy feeling that doesn’t leave. I encourage you to find 10 minutes in your day on your lunch hour, after work, or while the kids are napping to take a rest for yourself – You will be happy you did.

Sleep also helps regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness. So when we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more, which can lead to weight gain. Another reason that we are an overfed culture is that many people don’t get the rest that their bodies need, making them crave the wrong foods.

Think about this – From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are constantly battling to keep our head on top of our spine properly. When we have joint immobility and no stability to our C1 vertebrae, we fire the wrong muscles at the wrong time, leaving the risk for injuries to develop.

Here is an example: What happens to a muscle when you work it? It gets bigger. So if we are carrying our head more to one side then the other, muscles are not being worked evenly. Perhaps you have seen people with a head tilt, or what’s called anterior head syndrome? Go look in the mirror and look at yourself. Is your head straight? Your shoulders even? Resting 10-15 minutes after an adjustment helps keep the spine in the proper position, and helps hold your adjustments. Holding your adjustments means healing!

Many people ask me how they should sleep at night. I tell them that the main thing is definitely not on their stomach! When you sleep on your stomach, you are fighting to keep oxygen flowing to your brain at night. When you toss and turn your neck, it kinks the vertebral artery which helps carry oxygen to the brain. Stomach sleepers are often people who wake up groggy and restless.

The best way to sleep is with your head supported with the proper cervical pillow while laying on your back or on your side. Having the proper support is key.

You may be wondering, “Hey Doc. My friend has that thing called FIBROMYALGIA – can you help with that? Almost everyone has fascia built up in their tissues from lack of what I call body maintenance. Fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. Fascia build-up is found in many Fibromyalgia patients.

Chronic repetitive movements and years of not moving your body properly will create serious fibrotic tissue to develop. It’s important to take the proper steps to preventing this fibrotic tissue from developing. If you are a super active person, Voodoo Flossing is key to restoration and recovery. If you are not an active person, taking a rolling pin or a foam roller along the length of your muscles will help break that tissue up so it doesn’t adhere to your muscles and create problems in the future.

Sweet Dreams

-The XFit Doc