Sleep – are you getting enough?

As Physiotherapists we are always asked questions about injury prevention, improving performance, and general health and wellbeing.

 
Our answer often includes “Recovery is just as important as the training”
While you need to push to get gains from your training you also need to recover. We don’t get stronger or fitter from the training we do, but rather how we recover from the training. Having a well structured training plan will that allows for adequate recovery between your hard sessions is essential. 
Managing your training load on a weekly, monthly and yearly cycle will reduce your risk of injury and allow for some down time to recover and work on things like core strength and flexibility to help with injury prevention. 
It is also surprising to many of our patients that SLEEP also often features in our answers.
It is a simple, controllable factor (except if you, like us, have had sick little ones for the past 2 months!)… And one that gives you bang for your buck.
 

As Physiotherapists we are always asked questions about injury prevention, improving performance, and general health and wellbeing.

Our answer often includes “Recovery is just as important as the training”
While you need to push to get gains from your training you also need to recover. We don’t get stronger or fitter from the training we do, but rather how we recover from the training. Having a well structured training plan will that allows for adequate recovery between your hard sessions is essential. 
Managing your training load on a weekly, monthly and yearly cycle will reduce your risk of injury and allow for some down time to recover and work on things like core strength and flexibility to help with injury prevention. 
 
It is also surprising to many of our patients that SLEEP also often features in our answers.
It is a simple, controllable factor (except if you, like us, have had sick little ones for the past 2 months!)… And one that gives you bang for your buck.
 
For humans sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep and the overall state of our “sleep health” remains an essential question throughout our lifespan. Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debt we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like. . 
 
Sleep needs vary across ages and is especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need it’s important to assess not only where you fall on the "sleep needs spectrum" but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.
 
The US National Sleep Foundation recently updated its guidelines for the suggested amount of sleep we require for optimum brain function at various stages throughout our lives. 
 
These guidelines are below. Check to see how you compare:
 
•         Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously 12-18)
•         Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously 14-15)
•         Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously 12-14)
•         Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously 11-13)
•         School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously 10-11)
•         Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously 8.5-9.5)
•         Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
•         Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
•         Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)  
 
If you feel that you aren’t getting your correct amount of sleep then consider making it a priority as it can have very real effect on your health status.