Sleep and Health: What role can health retreats play?
I’m fortunate to work with the team at The Golden Door Australia on healthy sleep and how to optimise sleep for their guests. Health retreats are a good place to learn new skills for maintaining health and put new healthy habits in place, so can be an ideal place to work on sleep. As a sleep physician, whilst I’m expert in diagnosing and managing sleep disorders, measuring sleep and designing programs to help people achieve better sleep, an important part of sleeping well is a healthy lifestyle. This is where Golden Door Health Retreat’s expertise lies, so working together we can learn from each other to get the best results, working on both sleep and health.
As I discuss in the video, I think there are 4 main components to optimising sleep:
- Wellness: is a state of optimal well-being wherein you strive to maximise your individual potential. You may not be physically fit or free from disease; however, you can strive for increased wellness by working with what you’ve got. Wellness encompasses both mental and physical wellness across a range of domains. For more information on wellness, see this post.
- Maintaining good general health: Sleep acts as a barometer of physical or mental health, and can often be the first sign that something is not right with our health. So, to sleep well, our physical and mental health needs to be optimised. This includes aspects such as physical fitness, nutrition and stress management as well as managing any health conditions we may have.
- Healthy thinking & behaviour around sleep: Once people begin having trouble with sleep, they begin to think about sleep differently and behave differently around sleep. These changes in thinking and behaviour are often what keep poor sleep going, and are what we try to address when treating insomnia with cognitive behavioural therapy. For a discussion on how insomnia develops see this video.
- Managing sleep disorders: Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia are very common. Whilst maintaining wellness and good general health are important in sleeping well, if sleep disorders are present, you may still have trouble with sleep or feeling tired through the day. Sleep disorders are discussed in more detail in this post.
We’ve developed the Sleep Wellness Quiz to help you work out which of these areas you need to work on to improve your sleep. Take the quiz to give you a guide to where to focus your efforts.
I really enjoy being part of the guest speaker program at The Golden Door Health Retreat. Not only is it a great place to visit, but I always learn a lot that I can incorporate in to my day to day practice, managing people with sleep disorders.
For a list of other speakers, and for dates when I’m speaking at Golden Door check out their Guest Speaker Program.
A modified version of this post has been published in The Huffington Post and is available here.
Related links and posts:
- Healthy Sleep – podcast
- Sleep health: Going beyond sleep disorders
- Assessing your wellness
- Food, Tai Chi and taking time out
- Prioritise Me Time
- What are the benefits of yoga?
Need more information about how you can sleep better?
At Sleephub we understand the struggle people endure with sleeping problems which is why we have created a comprehensive FAQs page with information for those seeking information about sleep disorders and potential solutions.
As a specialist sleep physician working, helping to manage people with sleep problems every day in my day to day practice, I really enjoy working with the team at Golden Door Health Retreat on helping for them to get their clients the best sleep possible because sleeping well doesn’t just involve seeing a doctor like myself in my specialist practice. But it does involve looking at all aspects of life, lifestyle factors, stress management, nutrition, exercise.
These are all important in sleeping well and the Golden Door Health Retreat are really experts in a lot of these areas. My thinking about sleep is that – to get our best sleep, we need to address each of these areas, wellness in the broader sense, our general health, maintaining good physical and mental health, maintaining good and healthy thinking and behaviour around sleep.
Often if we’ve not being sleeping well, we will put into place some coping strategies around sleep that end up perpetuating the sleep problems and of course managing sleep disorders. You think of – maybe as a sleep physician, where’s my expertise? It is largely in this area and then you think of where the Golden Door Health Retreat have their expertise. It’s certainly in helping people manage wellness and their general health conditions and sort of keeping good physical and mental health in the longer run.
So working together as a partnership, we can cover all four of these domains and I think it works really well in helping their clients get the best out of sleep.