How to Improve Your Sleep

How to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep provides amazing benefits to the body.

  • It lowers stress
  • Improves our mood
  • Helps maintain and promote a healthy body weight
  • Improves our athletic performance and coordination
  • Increases our ability to pay attention and remember new information

But, not a lot of us are getting enough sleep.

In 2011 researchers from the Université Laval released their data that revealed that 40% of Canadians suffer from a sleep disorder.

Our brothers and sisters south of us aren’t doing any better either. The National Sleep Foundation (along with two government agencies) estimated in 2012 that 40 billion Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

Dr. Heli McPhie, naturopath with The Village Clinic, chatted with me about the best ways to fall asleep and stay asleep.

She covered:

  • Why we aren’t sleeping?
  • The one thing you can do RIGHT now to help you sleep better.
  • What are DHEA levels and why they are important to help you sleep?
  • Sleep hygiene – how this plays a HUGE role in falling asleep.
  •  What tests should you be taking if you have problems sleeping.
  • What natural products are there on the market that will help us sleep, and do they really work?
  • How does she coach her clients to better sleep?
  • PLUS, she answered some great questions from the audience.

ABOUT DR. MCPHIE

Dr. Heli McPhie - Fitness with PJ Blab/Blog

Dr. McPhie’s passion for medicine and healing began at a young age growing up in southern Africa. Building on her love of the natural world and science, Dr. McPhie completed an undergraduate degree in biology at McGill University in Montreal.

She then went on to complete a further four years of study in Naturopathic Medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

After two years of clinical practice in Toronto, Dr. McPhie returned to Vancouver in 2000.

Since then she has operated a successful family practice, seeing patients of all ages on the west side of Vancouver. She opened her own practice, The Village Clinic, in 2011 in Tsawwassen.

The Village Clinic has since expanded into a collaborative interdisciplinary clinic.

Dr. McPhie treats a wide variety of conditions and ages including digestive disorders, allergies, anxiety, depression, sports injuries, immune disorders, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, and many other chronic conditions.

The clinic caters to walk in clients and holds flu prevention clinics. Dr. Mcphie utilizes many modalities of practice including nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, use of vitamins and minerals and acupuncture.

 

CLICK PLAY BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE BLAB INTERVIEW

  

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10 Tips To Avoid The Flu

10 Tips To Avoid The Flu

If there is one thing we can all universally agree on, it’s that getting sick bites. (That, and Donald Trump needs to take a long walk off of a very short pier… and soon.)

No one likes getting sick, no one has time to get sick, and no one chooses to be sick.

But, getting sick is like the schoolyard bully. Pretty soon, one day or another, it will pick on you.

Right now we are in the thick of the flu season and if the schoolyard bully has not kicked your butt yet, you probably know someone who has had theirs kicked.

The Stats

In Canada the active influenza season starts in November and ends in March (Public Health Agency of Canada). Flu viruses constantly change, with a new and fresh seasonal flu appearing each and every flu season.

It’s like the latest fall fashion, minus the Instagram account.

The flu seems to be picking up steam too. During the past five years, incidents of people being admitted to the hospital due to influenza-associated problems have increased at a staggering rate.

During the 2011–2012 flu season there were a total of 1,151 adult hospitalizations in Canada (an adult hospitalization is classified as anyone over the age of 20 years).

Flash forward to the last year’s flu season and there were 6,720 adult hospitalizations. (Public Health Agency of Canada).

That’s a 484 percent increase in less than five years. Wow.

To help you avoid the flu, I recruited naturopath Dr. Heli McPhie of The Village Clinic in Tsawwassen to provide us with her best tips to fight back and stay healthy.

10 Tips to Avoid the Flu

1/ Keep yourself fit.

First and foremost flu prevention starts with a healthy body and mind. So exercise regularly (my personal favourite tip), take your supplements, eat well, laugh often (in other words, don’t let stress get the best of you), quit smoking (if you smoke), and rest.

Funny getting sick quote - Fitness with PJ

2/ Keep it clean.

Her next tip is one we hear from all health professionals all the time: wash your hands.

Because we touch our faces an incredible number of times in a day, it is vital to constantly keep our hands clean.

In addition, she also recommends that you teach your children to wash their hands before eating.

HOW TO FIGHT GERMS 

How to wash your hands - fighting the flu Fitness with PJ

3/ Sneeze here please.

If you do happen to catch a cold, or the flu, be sure sneeze into your “sneeze pocket” – that’s your elbow, not your hands. This will reduce the spread of the flu virus, which is an important part of flu prevention.

You can also help reduce the spread of the flu virus by not sharing food or drinks, straws, and utensils. Also, say no to double dippers and remember to toss those tissues.

4/ Oh thank you for coming to work sick today! We appreciate it – said nobody ever.

If you are sick, make sure you stay at home, too. Don’t be a hero and go to work. You are only spreading the virus to those around you, which is not as appreciated as you may think.

I'm sick. Looks like I will be laying in bed all day. Oh wait, I'm a mom. Click To Tweet

5/ All you need is love.

Take the time you need to care for yourself. Being a wee bit selfish is okay because if you aren’t well, you cannot be there for those you care for and who may need you.

6/ MD or ND.

If your symptoms are severe, or you are worried, check in with your doctor or a naturopath and then rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy (such as clear veggie and/or chicken soups).

Also chat with your MD or ND about other ways to prevent the flu, such as the flu vaccine.

7/ Sleep.

Sleep well and rest.Sleep and rest is vital for maintaining good overall health and, in turn, a healthy immune system.

I learned this one the hard way myself. Last Christmas I was not resting properly and was burnt out and stressed out, and by Christmas morning I was sick as a dog.

And, big tip, if sleep is an issue for you, book an appointment with Dr. McPhie; she’s brilliant with sleep problems.

My 3 unconventional tips to sleep better.

8/ Chill out.

The next step to fighting the cold and flu is to simply relax. Reducing stress levels will keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Find time, every day, to relieve and reduce your stress. Your body will reward you and it will be strong enough to fight the cold and flu virus.

The BEST tips to beat stress.

9/ Get a protein fix.

Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. Make sure you get protein-rich foods throughout the day, such as fish, eggs, tofu and yogurt.

Click here to discover my top protein powders.

10/ Care is absolute. Prevention is ideal. 

And, Dr. McPhie’s final takeaway: prevent first because it is always easier to prevent than cure.

 

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