Sleep is vital for life and performance. Everyone knows the difference waking from a well-rested sleep, compared to a disrupted sleep. Add to this the decreased production of melatonin as we get older and a busy lifestyle – it can be difficult getting enough sleep. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night, or feeling tired and less alert during your day, don’t worry there is hope!
We all know that limiting alcohol, maintaining a sleep schedule, not playing on the iPad or phone before bed and meditation helps with a better nights sleep. Adding cryotherapy to this list is an active easy way to boost the quality of your sleep.
Quality sleep is essential for peak mental performance, bolstering immunity, repairing cells (especially when training) and rebalancing biochemistry.
Sleep expert Mark Mahowald MD, former professor of neurology at Minnesota Medical School states “It (sleep) is not negotiable. Any degree of sleepiness will impair performance and mood.” This decrease in function is felt in areas of life, work, parenting, learning and training.
During sleep, many vital functions occur, and some ONLY occur during sleep. Major functions like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release. Also the stress hormone cortisol and adenosine decrease. Cortisol is the hormone caused by stress and keeps you in a stressed state. Adenosine is the chemical byproduct of brain cell activity during awake time, it builds up during the day and causes us to feel sleepy. During sleep the body has a chance to clear the adenosine and cortisol. If you are not getting enough quality sleep these 2 byproducts can build up in your body causing you to feel exhausted, not lose weight, feel dull and clouded in the mind and can just make things harder than they need to be. Simply by increasing your quality of sleep you out will feel more awake and alert. This process is essential for working at peak performance in all areas of life and training.1
Sleep is essential to anyone wanting to be better at what they choose, training, business… who am I kidding, we all want to be better at life in some way. And this is where Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) comes into the picture.
The first Whole Body Cryotherapy session I ever had, I expected that it would help my aches and pains… One thing I did not expect was the AMAZING sleep I had that night. I was fasting at the time and could not believe the energy I had to power through. I was reminded of this when talking to a friend who had his first session in Sydney earlier this year and he was so in awe of how he slept.
Higher quality sleep increases your enthusiasm and energy, you can train better and boost performance easily. This increase in motivation and energy means you make better decisions and take actions aligned with your goal. You spend less time fixing up bad decisions as you have the mental space created by simply sleeping well. Perceived less effort, better results…
The effects of WBC are immediate. This is due to endorphins and extra oxygenated cells being increased. Your body hits a higher gear. Regular exposure to these cold temperatures of WBC puts your body back into balance.
The science behind WBC quality sleep is the exposure to the cold, muscle constriction then increased blood flow set off a chain reaction. The fight/flight response. Epinephrine is released during the session, this is the energised high you experience. Norepinephrine is then triggered which decreases pain and acts as a mild sedative. Norepinephrine affects your sleep-wake cycle and has massive effects on your energy, motivation, focus and sleep patterns. Further to this, sleep mimics awake time, so the better your day is, the better your sleep is.
During a WBC session, your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated via the vargas nerve. This system is commonly known as the automatic nervous system – flight or flight response. It controls things like digestion, arousal, heart rate and chemical release. The stimulation of this system is what decreases inflammation and fluid in the extremities. When we have less inflammation and decreased external fluid in our bodies our body has to work less and as a result, we are more comfortable and have a better quality sleep.
Pain is also reduced with WBC causing people to be able to get to sleep and stay asleep longer. The decrease in inflammation is one reason the pain is reduced, but also the increase in white and red blood cells to the extremities for healing and cryotherapy is an analgesic numbing agent, meaning the perception of pain decreases and is maintained for hours after your session.2 Specific sources of pain can also be targeted using localised cryotherapy.
We all know that we sleep better when we are healthy. Meaning less snotty noses, colds, flu’s or viruses with WBC. It supports your immune system and decreases the life and sleep interruption of ill health. Being healthy for longer periods of time and sleeping well in these times further assists to set good sleep patterns. Set these in conjunction with cryotherapy and you will feel more able to take on life.
The compounding benefits of WBC are unmatched. Adding WBC to your training regime and integrating it into your life will improve your performance, effectiveness and energy.
Expect to wake up feeling well rested and energised.
Book your session now to experience the benefits of improved sleep.
- Division of Sleep Medicine, (2007). Why Do We Sleep, Anyway?. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep. Harvey Medical School.
- Pournot et al. (2011). Time-Course of Changes in Inflammatory Response after Whole-Body Cryotherapy Multi Exposures following Severe Exercise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21829501. PLoS one
Written by Elouise Bermingham, BA Science (Sports and Exercise), Minor Performance Enhancment and Coaching.