Monthly Archives: July 2015

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man suffering from insufficient sleep

Four Steps Toward Better Sleep

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Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic, according to the CDC. Huge numbers of us don’t get enough sleep. It’s making us more dangerous on the road and less productive. And it’s making it harder for health professionals, including physical therapists, to do their jobs. Sleep is essential to recovery and growth. Make sure you get your 7-8 hours–yes, that much!–each evening with these tips.


Screen Free Zone

It can be tempting to bring your tablet or phone to bed to check your email or social media one last time. But the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, a chemical which helps regulate our sleep cycles, studies suggest. Plus, internet access makes it way to easy to stumble down a rabbit hole of endless link-clicking. Put your devices in a drawer or another room.

Avoid These Sleep Staller Substances

Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, and should be avoided. Keep in mind that caffeine takes a long time to work it’s way out of your system–it has a 5-6 hour half life (half life means the time it takes two thirds of it to lose efficacy).

Create a Ritual

Rituals help ease your body into sleep. Try taking a bath or shower regularly before bed, reading a chapter of a book or flipping through a magazine. Over time, your body will learn to associate these activities with sleep, and you’ll be able to drift off more easily.

Warm Milk

It may sound childish, but milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness. Tryptophan is also found in turkey, so you could theoretically have a Thanksgiving style snack instead. Just don’t make it Thanksgiving size–big meals near bedtime make it harder to stay asleep.

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Stay Motivated While Recovering From An Injury

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If being active is an important part of your life, chances are that an injury–even a minor one–will take more than a physical toll. Suddenly being unable to do what you love or rely on can lead to depression, anger, and even hopelessness. But you can emerge from this situation a more powerful, better-rounded athlete. Here’s how:

Treat Your PT like a Trainer

It can be easy to go into physical therapy sessions with a “sick patient” mindset. Try revising that narrative, casting yourself as an athlete and your physical therapist as a trainer. If they recommend exercises you can do safely along, attack them with gusto, even if they don’t at first seem like the adrenaline rush you’re used to. For example, dominate at aqua aerobics, or become a Tai Chi master. Set out to be amazing at the things that help you recover, and not only will you feel more motivated, you’ll be more prepared to do these exercises effectively if you’re injured in the future.

Use This Opportunity to Develop Other Muscles

This could be your chance to really work on your core! Recovery can be a great time to build up muscles that will make you more efficient and stronger once you heal. Make sure your consult your PT to determine which muscle groups are safe to work on, and how to build them up without disturbing your injury.

Master Nutrition

Chances are that if you’re into being active, you know a thing or two about good nutrition. Recovery is a great time to amp up your culinary prowess, and to learn about new ingredients or ways to prepare them. Consider working with a nutritionist as part of your PT program. A nutritionist can help you figure out how to balance food groups throughout and post recovery.

Are you ready to dive in and get to work recovering from an injury? Request an appointment with our professionals today!

Sprains, strains, fractures, oh my! Pain and impaired mobility are serious business, but there is hope. At Advanced Physical Therapy of Freehold, our professional therapists collaborate with physicians to provide care that alleviates pain, restores function, and gets you back in the game faster. We encourage you to learn more about our team — and what we do best.