All Posts Tagged: sleep

Woman dealing with stress

Stress and how to manage it

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or pressure.

The amount of stress you feel can depend on your attitude to a particular situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be a mere hiccup for another person.

When the term ‘stress’ is used in a clinical sense, it refers to a situation that causes discomfort and distress for a person and can lead to other mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Feelings of stress can affect all of us

You may feel under pressure to do something and fear you may fail. The more important the outcome, the more stressed you feel.

You can feel stressed by external situations (too much work, children misbehaving) and by internal triggers (the way you think about external situations).

It’s not always a bad thing

Some people thrive on stress and even need it to get things done. For example, a small amount of stress, like meeting a deadline, can actually be helpful.

Signs of stress

There are some signs which indicate our stress levels are affecting us in a negative way:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Feeling ‘on edge’ or unable to stop worrying
  • Difficulty sleeping, fatigue and exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite
  • Physical reactions such as headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, and difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood and irritability
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Reliance on alcohol or other substances to cope.

Effects of stress

Stress affects us in many ways, including:

  • Emotionally – anxiety, depression, tension, anger
  • The way we think – poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, apathy, hopelessness
  • Behaviourally – increased drinking and smoking, insomnia, accident proneness, weight problems, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, nervousness, gambling.

Stress may also contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease. When stress turns into a serious illness, it’s important to get professional help as soon as possible.

How to manage stress

The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is certainly true for stress management. It will help if you:

  • Exercise regularly – regular exercise is a great way to manage stress. You should do some form of exercise that causes you to feel puffed afterwards – a leisurely stroll to the bus stop is not enough! Have at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week
  • Avoid conflict – avoid situations that make you feel stressed such as unnecessary arguments and conflict (although ignoring a problem is not always the best way to reduce stress). Assertiveness is fine but becoming distressed is not
  • Relax – give yourself some time to relax each day and try to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
  • Eat well – a nutritious diet is important. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid sweet and fatty foods
  • Sleep – a good sleep routine is essential. If you have difficulty falling asleep, do something calm and relaxing before you go to bed like listening to music or reading
  • Enjoy your life – it’s important to make time to have some fun and to get a balance in your life.

How to get help

Start with your GP for a check-up.

Your GP may refer you for some specialised help. This may include a member of our on-site allied health team such as a psychologist, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

There are also some great support services available, such as Lifeline.

The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can get on top of your stress levels and feel more equipped to cope.

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Lifeline

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Good night's sleep

How can you get a good night’s sleep?

Like oxygen, food and water, sleep is essential for good health. It refreshes the mind and repairs the body.

But how do you get a good night’s sleep?

It starts with making a commitment to improving your ‘sleep hygiene’. This basically means habits that help you have a good night’s sleep.

Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years or even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle and attitude.

1. Obey your body clock

Getting a good sleep means working with your body clock, not against it. Suggestions include:

  • Get up at the same time every day. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night
  • Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready
  • Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake
  • Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.

2. Improve your sleeping environment

Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Suggestions include:

  • Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft
  • Make sure the room is at the right temperature
  • Ensure the room is dark enough
  • If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), use earplugs
  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy. If you treat your bed like a second lounge room – for watching television or talking to friends on the phone, for example – your mind will associate your bedroom with activity.

3. Avoid drugs

Common pitfalls of drugs include:

  • Cigarettes – accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure (caused by the nicotine) are likely to keep you awake for longer
  • Alcohol – alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns so you won’t feel refreshed in the morning, and you may wake frequently to go to the toilet
  • Sleeping pills – these can cause daytime sleepiness, and after a period of using them, falling asleep without them tends to be harder. These drugs are generally prescribed under strict conditions.

4. Relax your mind

Insomnia is often caused by worrying. Suggestions include:

  • When going to bed, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.
  • Try relaxation exercises, like consciously relaxing every part of your body (starting with your toes and working up to your scalp).

In addition to these four areas, there are other lifestyle adjustments that may help improve your sleep. This includes exercising regularly and avoiding caffeinated drinks (like coffee and cola).

Our Pascoe Vale doctors can help you make the right adjustments to get a better night’s sleep. In some cases, we may even refer you to a sleep disorder clinic.

If you’ve tried and failed to improve your sleep, it’s time to talk to us. You deserve a good night’s sleep!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Migraine help in Melbourne

The pain of migraine

Headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia, with around 15% of us taking pain-relieving medication for a headache at any given time.

A migraine is a particular type of headache. It can be experienced from as little as once or twice a year, or as often as two or three times a week.

Three times as many women (15%) as men (5%) suffer from migraine, and scientists believe that hormones play a large role.

What is migraine pain like?

The pain is severe, throbbing and usually on one side of the head.

A migraine attack can last from four hours to three days. It’s associated with a spasm of the blood vessels leading to the brain.

Triggers for migraine

No one really knows what causes migraine, but it may be an inherited condition. Attacks can be triggered by a combination of factors, such as:

  • Diet – cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Sleep – too little or too much
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Physiochemical – excessive heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
  • Emotional causes – stress, excitement or fatigue
  • Relaxation (weekend migraines) – often triggered by a period of stress and overwork followed by relaxation.

Fortunately, we have a large team of doctors and allied health professionals in Pascoe Vale who can help you manage your condition.

Headache and Migraine Week, 9-13 September 2019

Headache Australia, a national charitable organisation, proudly runs Headache and Migraine Week. It aims to raise awareness for headaches and migraines which affect millions of Australians.

You can register to attend events, watch live streaming or recorded presentations during this special week.

If you suffer chronic headaches or migraine, you could even consider joining the National Headache Australia register to receive information about treatment options, research findings and so on.

Three facts about migraine

  1. Migraine is a type of headache and a recognised medical condition
  2. Young women are most at risk
  3. There is no cure for migraine, but the right treatment can reduce the number of attacks.

Get help for your headache or migraine

There are numerous treatment options to help with headache and migraine. So don’t delay – make a booking with your healthcare professional in Pascoe Vale today and get the relief that you deserve!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Headache Week

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Healthy habits

9 healthy habits for 2020

Now that the new year is well underway, how are you going with your goals and resolutions?

If you haven’t already made any, it’s not too late to kick-start the new year.

Here are nine healthy habits to give your year the boost it may need.

1. Cut down on stress

Untreated stress can lead to serious illness.

Whether you tackle stress through exercise, meditation, leaving work on time, getting more organised or any other method, everyone can benefit from cutting stress from their lives.

2. Get more sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Watch less TV and Netflix and try going to bed on time this year.

3. Eat well

No, you don’t need to go on a fad diet or totally quit sugar. Trying to eat more vegies and home-cooked meals is simple.

Like anything, it comes down to planning and changing your habits.

If cooking isn’t your thing, make use of meal subscription services like Marley Spoon or Hello Fresh, or sign up for grocery delivery to make sure you always have fresh, healthy food on hand.

4. Get more exercise

Even little bursts of activity — such as a daily 15-minute power walk — can have big health and mood benefits.

Try walking to work or take a couple of laps around the block in your lunch break, or try a fun new activity like indoor rock climbing that will help you get active without seeming like a chore.

Need help with exercise? Have a chat with our exercise physiologist, Mike Fitzsimon.

5. Read more

Reading has been found to reduce stress and boost memory, focus and concentration, so make a list of books you want to read and stick to it.

Consider joining a book club if you think you’ll need more of an incentive to hit your reading target.

6. Travel

You don’t have to travel far to have a good time. Pick a location in Victoria you’ve never been to before, program the GPS and head off for a weekend adventure.

If you have the time and money to jet off overseas, make sure you speak to us about travel vaccinations before you go.

7. Log off

Studies show excessive screen time can disrupt sleep and contribute to anxiety and stress, so make yourself a nightly digital curfew and stick to it.

8. Eat breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day. So do your mind and metabolism a favour and make time for a healthy breakfast each morning.

9. See your doctor

Your relationship with your doctor is one of the most beneficial you will have over your lifetime.

Regular health checks with your doctor can give you peace of mind, confirm you are on the road to good health or identify any potential health concerns early.

Make a booking today with one of our friendly doctors. You can book online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.

Good luck with your healthy habits this year!

 

Source: News.com.au

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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