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  • Writer's pictureMark Austin

physiobox October Newsletter: Practice Updates + A Better Night's Sleep

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since my last newsletter! I trust you’ve been staying active and enjoying the fall weather while it lasts!

Before getting into this month’s topic of interest, I want to let you know that I have updated my working hours to increase my availability to you. It has been busier than ever over the past few months, and while I am thrilled to be seeing so many people who trust me with their care, many of you have mentioned to me that lately options have been limited when booking online. To make it easier for you, I've added 5-10 openings per week to my schedule. That said, your best bet to be seen at a time that is most convenient for you is always to book as far in advance as possible. Of course, injuries and flare-ups and can happen at any time, and if you find yourself in a situation where you really need to be seen on short notice but do not see any openings when booking online, I usually reserve 1-2 hours per day for urgent appointments, so just get in touch by phone or e-mail and I will do my best to make it work. Lastly, please remember while I tend to be lenient with my cancellation policy, providing as much notice as possible when cancelling or rescheduling your appointments benefits everyone, as there is usually another person who would have taken that spot had it been available 1-2 days prior. Thank you so much again for your continued support of my practice, and always let me know if there is anything I can do to improve upon your experience in physiotherapy. Now, let’s delve into this month’s area of focus on improving your health and wellness. This October, as the nights grow longer and we naturally find ourselves gravitating towards our beds a little earlier, let's explore a topic that I believe doesn't get the attention it deserves – the role of sleep in injury recovery and chronic pain management. When it comes to getting and feeling better, too often we overfocus on the small details, such as supplements, topical creams and rubs, expensive too-good-to-be-true treatments, and so on, while skipping over the basics: solid nutrition, regular movement, stress management, and consistently getting a good night’s rest. Recent studies are increasingly backing this idea, highlighting the intricate relationship between sleep and our physical wellbeing. Studies show that poor sleep not only increases your risk of developing chronic health conditions and is detrimental to your mental health, but also heightens the risk of all-cause mortality(1). Furthermore, these effects are amplified when poor sleep is combined with low levels of physical activity(1). When it comes to recovering from an injury or dealing with chronic pain, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep is especially true. If you’re an athlete or someone who’s ever dealt with recurring pain or injury, you may have been told that rest and recovery are just as important as the therapy or exercise you’re undertaking. Not only does poor sleep decrease athletic performance(2), averaging less than seven hours of sleep per night for just two weeks has been shown to increase injury risk by 1.7 times(3). What if you are already dealing with pain or an injury? When grappling with an existing injury, sleep is pivotal in influencing both the speed and quality of our recovery(3,4). For those experiencing chronic pain, it's a two-way street: we all know that pain can hinder a peaceful night's rest, but inadequate sleep can exacerbate your day-to-day pain levels(5). This interplay can form a challenging cycle where pain and poor sleep perpetuate each other. Armed with this knowledge, let’s work together to improve upon our sleep habits. Here are some resources to deep dive into the fascinating world of sleep and its healing powers.


Something to Watch: Sleep for Rehab - E3 Rehab

Physiotherapist Marc Surdyka offers a comprehensive overview of the importance of sleep in rehabilitation and its impact on pain, injury, performance, and more.


Something to Listen to: Better Sleep with Dr. Frank Lipman - the Proof with Simon Hill

Dr. Frank Lipman talks about why we should take sleep more seriously and how to improve it. Learn what sleep is, the different phases of sleep, different reasons for sleep abnormalities, and sleep quantity (hours slept) versus sleep quality. Dr. Lipman also covers various sleep-related topics including wearables, the microbiome, light exposure, meal timing, supplements, and alcohol.


Something to Read: Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker

Professor Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.


Thanks for being a part of physiobox! The best compliment is always the referral of a friend or family member, or by sharing your experience and leaving a review. Due for an appointment? Book in here. Wishing you all happiness and good health, and a good night's rest. - Mark



1. Huang, B.-H., Duncan, M. J., Cistulli, P. A., Nassar, N., Hamer, M., & Stamatakis, E. (2021). Sleep and physical activity in relation to all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality risk. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 56. 2. Charest, J., & Grandner, M. A. (2019). Sleep and Athletic Performance: Impacts on Physical Performance, Mental Performance, Injury Risk and Recovery, and Mental Health. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 15. 3. Huang, K., & Ihm, J. (2021). Sleep and Injury Risk. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 20. 4. Chennaoui, M., Vanneau, T., Trignol, A., Pochettino, S., Eirale, C., & Chalabi, H. (2021). How does sleep help recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24. 5. Haack, M., Simpson, N., Sethna, N., Kaur, S., & Mullington, J. (2020). Sleep deficiency and chronic pain: potential underlying mechanisms and clinical implications. Neuropsychopharmacology, 45.



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