Sleep is one of those tricky things that can influence so many aspect of our life and health. And at the same time can be influenced by so many other things. It's a tricky situation. Certain health issues and stresses can cause poor sleep and then poor sleep can cause and exacerbate certain health conditions.
Sometimes it feels like a giant hamster wheel that is impossible to get off. If you feel like that you might need to see a functional medicine doctor to help you get to the root causes.
In the mean time, here are some simple things that can help improve your sleep.
Insomnia affects women more than men by about 50%. One of the reasons is the mensural cycle. Often women sleep better during different times of the month. Sleep problems occur more during the second 1/2 of the cycle. This is believed to be due to the rise of progesterone and the associated increase in the core body temperature. We may not be able to control the rise in progesterone, but Read More…
Are you exercising too hard? Extreme exercise and overtraining.
Extreme exercise is good for you, right? Not exactly
If you want to get fit and lose weight, you should exercise as hard as you can,
for as long as you can,
Research shows extreme exercise can cause chronic health problems and make you feel worse. (What constitutes over exercise depends on the individual and their fitness level.)
Recovery time is as important as the exercise itself.
Over exercising can cause the following health issues:
Fatigued adrenals, the stress-handling glands
More bad gut bacteria
Increased risk of injury
Too much exercise raises inflammation
Many of the issues caused by over exercising stem from inflammation. Although appropriate exercise can be anti-inflammatory and very good for the brain, too much has the opposite effect.
The cellular damage from over exercising triggers a systemic inflammatory response that sets the stage for a host of other health problems.
The damage and inflammation from over exercising is very stressful to the body. Excess stress underlies the burnout, depletion, and increasing weakness often seen with over exercising.
Results can be fatigue, poor thyroid function, depressed immunity, and more.
Over exercising damages gut health
The gut and the bacteria it houses are increasingly being recognized as the seat of the immune system and foundational to our health.
Overdoing exercise has been found to damage the gut wall, causing “leaky gut.” This allows undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens into the bloodstream, where they then trigger inflammation throughout the body.
Overtraining also changes the composition of gut bacteria so there is too much bad bacteria.
How to know if you’re over training
How do you know if your exercise routine is making you unhealthy?
One of the most common symptoms is constant fatigue.
Your workout routine should give you more energy, not less. Appropriate exercise boosts chemicals in the body that improve brain function, increase well being, and raise energy. If the opposite is happening to you, you’re overdoing it.
Other symptoms of over exercising include getting sick frequently, loss of muscle mass, gaining body fat, and difficulty recovering from injuries.
What to do if you’re over exercising
If you’re making yourself sick with exercise, the answer isn’t to stop exercising, but to go about your workouts differently.
First of all, give yourself time to recover. This typically means exercising less frequently.
Also, it’s very important to get enough sleep. This is a critical time when your muscles repair and your metabolic system and brain recharge. Sufficient sleep is crucial if you want to stay active and healthy for the long haul.
Some products that can help you increase your recovery time and that may be helpful for short intense workouts include some of the following supplements.
And these are in no particular order.
#1 - magnesium and other electrolytes. Working out makes you sweat and and loose essential electrolytes, or at least it should. If your not sweating you probably aren't doing it right.
#2 BCAA - Brach chain amino acids - Amino acids are the building blocks for all proteins. By supplementing with BCAA immediately after your workout you can speed your recovery time by giving your body the essentials it needs.
#3 L-glutamine - Yep another amino acid. And for those familiar with gut health know that L-glutamine is great for helping to rebuild and repair the gut lining. Well, it does the same thing for the body and muscles. Take 2-5 grams per day.
#4 Creatine - Yep, the tried and true body building supplement is one of the most researched supplements out there. It helps by boosting performance, increasing ATP of the cells, and helps speed protein synthesis. Among other things.
#5 - a good quality multivitamin - this will help to ensure that you body is getting most of what it needs. Most people and just about all of my patients I see in my practice need specialized nutritional support, but a good multivitamin is a decent start and can go a long way towards helping to speed recovery time after a workout and reduce soreness after an intense routine in the gym.
Now go get your swell on!
I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen
Be Happy, Be healthy.