Monthly Archives:January 2021

How to access a deeper sleep 29 Jan

How to access a deeper sleep if you’re beyond tired right now

When did you last have a really good night’s sleep? 

 

Maybe it was a week ago or perhaps so long ago, you can’t even remember – either way, you’re not alone. The reason why so many of us are struggling to sleep at the moment is because Lockdown has been the perfect combination of issues to cause sleep deprivation. 

Not being outdoors as much, not traveling to work which means we’re not getting up as early, spending more time at home – watching TV, on a laptop and mobile, with a lack of routine in general can all contribute to affecting sleep. Not to mention, the fact that most of us are stressed and anxious at the moment – there’s a lot at play here.

Sleep is essential for health, providing rest and restoration for mind and body. We must ensure we get the right amount of sleep, but also that our sleep has the right quality. In this blog post we explore ways to receive a better night’s sleep, looking into the science behind it, wind down routines and things to avoid. 

So why do we have broken sleep, and how does it happen? 

According to Very Well Health, there are two main types of sleep: “Non-rapid eye movement (NREM), also known as quiet sleep and Rapid eye movement (REM), also known as active sleep.” People who have disrupted sleep often have less deep sleep, because they don’t reach the latter stages of NREM so often – this is the hardest part of the sleep cycle to wake anyone up from. 

Here are the four stages of sleep: 

  • Stage one – the initial drowsy period when you first start to fall asleep, which only lasts a few minutes
  • Stage two – NREM, you are lightly asleep, becoming less aware of your surroundings
  • Stage three – NREM, this is moderately deep sleep, muscles relax
  • Stage four – REM, the deepest level of sleep, where EEG recordings show long frequency, delta waves called slow waves

“Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2 sleep. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.” (Very Well Health)

Passing through these four stages of NREM sleep takes about an hour. The second part of the cycle is REM sleep. In REM sleep, brain wave recordings show similar electrical activity to being awake. During REM sleep you often have vivid dreams. 

In general, young people spend more time in the deeper, heavier stages of sleep as they grow and develop. Older people spend less time in deep-sleep stages and are more likely to complain of being light sleepers.

There is no “normal” amount of sleep; what matters is how well, not how long you sleep. Still, most middle-aged people function best on seven to nine hours of sleep, while others need up to 11 hours. 

Can exercise help you sleep? 

Absolutely – Exercise actually has a chemical effect on the brain, says W. Christopher Winter, the president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine. “Physical activity creates more adenosine in the brain, and adenosine makes us feel sleepy, the harder we work out, the more driven we are by this chemical to sleep.” 

Fun fact: Adenosine is the chemical that caffeine blocks to make you feel more alert.

Working out also helps you maintain your circadian rhythm (that is, your body’s internal clock). Winter says: “Exercise helps your body understand the schedule it’s on,” for example working out as part of your routine primes your body to sleep better at night.

7 ways to have a better nights sleep

We speak with Korin and Tiffany to find out their top tips for a good night’s sleep: 

  • Get outdoors. Korin and Tiffany both ensure they make the effort to leave the house for a walk or run. “Even if you don’t feel up for it, a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery will really help”, says Korin.  
  • Get moving. Doing a DPTV workout at home is the gift that keeps on giving: Not only can you grunt and grumble with only the judgmental gaze of your cat to deal with but they’re also a speedy and efficient way to sweat!

Here are a handful of Korin and Tiffany’s favourite classes to get you moving: 

  • Blue light exposure. Korin keeps her phone upstairs in the evenings so she is not connected to social media, messages and email. This allows Korin to have a break and switch off. 
  • Wind down before bedtime. Try not to listen to the news, take a bath, lower the lighting in your living room are just simple ways to wind down. 
  • Magnesium oil. Korin has been using BetterYou Magnesium Spray on the soles of feet before bed for a while now. This helps Korin have a better night’s sleep. 
  • Routine. We are creatures of habit so keep to your bedtime schedule.  
  • CBD. Tiffany says, “for me this is probably one of the most effective, non addictive ways to help with sleep. CBD is much better than taking a melatonin supplement which is proven to be addictive. If you take a melatonin supplement your body will stop producing its own. Instead CBD helps your body produce and absorb its own melatonin. CBD does not make you sleepy during the day because your body typically does not produce melatonin during the day.” Tiffany uses 600mg SDP Water Soluble 20oz Tincture. “That is my favorite product. My family produces this product so I know first hand it’s purity and it is the best you can buy.”
  • Make sure you’re comfortable. Tiffany chooses Ettitude, sustainable Bamboo Lyocell sheets as they keep her cool while she sleeps. 

If lifestyle factors are affecting your sleep quality and therefore your daily life, see if Korin and Tiffany’s tips can help your routine. If not, and if sleep is becoming a major issue, you can talk to your GP about possible treatments. Here’s to a more restful 2021!

Sources

L.Cherry, October 2019, four stages of sleep <https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-four-stages-of-sleep-2795920> 

A.Mateo, May 2018, intimate relationship between fitness and sleep

<https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/intimate-relationship-between-fitness-sleep/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CPhysical%20activity%20creates%20more%20adenosine,make%20you%20feel%20more%20alert.)&text=Working%20out%20also%20helps%20you,internal%20clock)%2C%20Winter%20says.> 

Image By: Gregory Pappas

Starting Your Own Pilates Studio 1 Jan

3 Simple Steps to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Today’s world seems to be in a continual state of flux, but some things stay the same. One frustrating example is the making, and subsequent breaking, of New Year’s resolutions!  

“Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.” That’s around 75% of people who fail each year, unable to keep their resolutions for longer than a few months. As human beings, we are notoriously bad at resisting temptation, especially (as research confirms) if we’re busy, tired or stressed. 

At Dynamic Pilates TV (DPTV) we think it’s important to set good habits opposed to making unrealistic resolutions that only last a month or two. We want to set goals that we can achieve and that will last and see us fitter stronger and healthier in 2021. 

 

Step 1 – Set Achievable Goals 

Focus on a small, daily effort: One of the problems we create for ourselves in trying to change the way we behave is that we often don’t give ourselves good guidance. 

We can be vague and too general: “I’m going to get into shape” or “I’m going to eat healthier.” Instead, be specific with what you want to achieve: “I’m going to eat three portions of greens per day” or “I’m going to workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.” Write it down and add reminders around the house if you need to – surround yourself with motivation! 

A simple way to do this is to label sticky notes with daily reminders, positive messages and your goal. Plaster them on your alarm clock, bathroom mirror, or laptop. They’ll serve as a constant reminder that you’ve got this!

And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. Even if your goal is to complete three Intermediate/ Advanced DPTV classes, make sure to celebrate your first class, second, and third! You’ve improved, and you should be proud of yourself.

 

Step 2- Keep Calm, Choose One Goal and Carry on Being Positive!

We know too well that it can become overwhelming taking on too much all at once. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and  effort. Focus yourself on achieving one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.  

“The way we talk to ourselves is also important. Stating positive affirmations such as ‘ I can eat a huge array of healthy foods that will nourish my body’ as opposed to ‘ I must not eat any crap!’ will be much more effective.” Korin says. 

If you’re struggling to pick one specific goal, DPTV has a ‘ Weekly Line Up’ which Korin and Tiffany set each Sunday for the week ahead. It’s a selection of 5 hand-picked classes for members to complete as a weekly challenge. 

When we are on our own journey we sometimes can lose track, so having something as a guideline to help us keep on track is good motivation. 

 

Step 3 – Plan And Choose Your Goal Well In Advance

Picking your resolution wisely and putting in extensive planning are essential parts of achieving any goal. We suggest that you write down:

  • Ideas on how you will tackle a major behavior change
  • Include the steps you will take
  • The reason you want to achieve your goal
  • Ways you can keep yourself on track
  • Note any obstacles that might stand in your way and how you will overcome them

Korin and Tiffany recommend checking in daily and weekly on your progress. Plan time each week to review your progress. This can be an in depth review or a quick check in, even five minutes can be sufficient for staying on track! Schedule in some ‘you time’ within your calendar, so that you’re reminded to do it.

If you start working toward a goal without any type of plan in place, you may quickly find yourself giving up when faced with any sort of obstacle. For example, if your goal is to complete a class three times per week, what will you do if you’ve missed four days in a row, and how will you proceed if you need to take time off for an illness or injury?

By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you’ll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might sidetrack you.

And remember to be gentle on yourself, try to subscribe to the motto, “progress, not perfection” this year.  At DPTV we don’t believe in strict deprivation diets and anything that is too regimented, as it tends to eventually have the reverse effect. That’s why we prefer to set goals that are achievable and realistic. Making small changes gradually over time. Not to compare yourself with others, as we all differ and this is about making an improvement on our lives and our wellbeing to make us feel happier and healthier. At no point should your goal setting feel like a punishment, the end result should be a happier you. 

Good luck with your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions! We would love to hear about your goal, please tag us in your progress.

If you liked this post you may also be interested in reading: 

Sources: 

A.Prossack, (2018) Forbes: This year, don’t set new year’s resolutions <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/12/31/goals-not-resolutions/?sh=3a906ad03879>

Starting Your Own Pilates Studio 1 Jan

3 Simple Steps to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Today’s world seems to be in a continual state of flux, but some things stay the same. One frustrating example is the making, and subsequent breaking, of New Year’s resolutions!  

“Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.” That’s around 75% of people who fail each year, unable to keep their resolutions for longer than a few months. As human beings, we are notoriously bad at resisting temptation, especially (as research confirms) if we’re busy, tired or stressed. 

At Dynamic Pilates TV (DPTV) we think it’s important to set good habits opposed to making unrealistic resolutions that only last a month or two. We want to set goals that we can achieve and that will last and see us fitter stronger and healthier in 2021. 

 

Step 1 – Set Achievable Goals 

Focus on a small, daily effort: One of the problems we create for ourselves in trying to change the way we behave is that we often don’t give ourselves good guidance. 

We can be vague and too general: “I’m going to get into shape” or “I’m going to eat healthier.” Instead, be specific with what you want to achieve: “I’m going to eat three portions of greens per day” or “I’m going to workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.” Write it down and add reminders around the house if you need to – surround yourself with motivation! 

A simple way to do this is to label sticky notes with daily reminders, positive messages and your goal. Plaster them on your alarm clock, bathroom mirror, or laptop. They’ll serve as a constant reminder that you’ve got this!

And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. Even if your goal is to complete three Intermediate/ Advanced DPTV classes, make sure to celebrate your first class, second, and third! You’ve improved, and you should be proud of yourself.

 

Step 2- Keep Calm, Choose One Goal and Carry on Being Positive!

We know too well that it can become overwhelming taking on too much all at once. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time and  effort. Focus yourself on achieving one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.  

“The way we talk to ourselves is also important. Stating positive affirmations such as ‘ I can eat a huge array of healthy foods that will nourish my body’ as opposed to ‘ I must not eat any crap!’ will be much more effective.” Korin says. 

If you’re struggling to pick one specific goal, DPTV has a ‘ Weekly Line Up’ which Korin and Tiffany set each Sunday for the week ahead. It’s a selection of 5 hand-picked classes for members to complete as a weekly challenge. 

When we are on our own journey we sometimes can lose track, so having something as a guideline to help us keep on track is good motivation. 

 

Step 3 – Plan And Choose Your Goal Well In Advance

Picking your resolution wisely and putting in extensive planning are essential parts of achieving any goal. We suggest that you write down:

  • Ideas on how you will tackle a major behavior change
  • Include the steps you will take
  • The reason you want to achieve your goal
  • Ways you can keep yourself on track
  • Note any obstacles that might stand in your way and how you will overcome them

Korin and Tiffany recommend checking in daily and weekly on your progress. Plan time each week to review your progress. This can be an in depth review or a quick check in, even five minutes can be sufficient for staying on track! Schedule in some ‘you time’ within your calendar, so that you’re reminded to do it.

If you start working toward a goal without any type of plan in place, you may quickly find yourself giving up when faced with any sort of obstacle. For example, if your goal is to complete a class three times per week, what will you do if you’ve missed four days in a row, and how will you proceed if you need to take time off for an illness or injury?

By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and the difficulties you might face, you’ll be better prepared to stick to your resolution and overcome anything that might sidetrack you.

And remember to be gentle on yourself, try to subscribe to the motto, “progress, not perfection” this year.  At DPTV we don’t believe in strict deprivation diets and anything that is too regimented, as it tends to eventually have the reverse effect. That’s why we prefer to set goals that are achievable and realistic. Making small changes gradually over time. Not to compare yourself with others, as we all differ and this is about making an improvement on our lives and our wellbeing to make us feel happier and healthier. At no point should your goal setting feel like a punishment, the end result should be a happier you. 

Good luck with your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions! We would love to hear about your goal, please tag us in your progress.

If you liked this post you may also be interested in reading: 

Sources: 

A.Prossack, (2018) Forbes: This year, don’t set new year’s resolutions <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/12/31/goals-not-resolutions/?sh=3a906ad03879>