Alaska Sleep Education Center

Your Healthy Body Starts in Your Head

Posted by Paisley Hansen on May 28, 2020 5:39:00 AM


It's been said that a circle has no end and no beginning. You may wonder what this has to do with physical fitness, and the answer is: a lot.

Research shows that what's going on in your head is reflected in your body, and physical issues like chronic pain will affect your state of mind. An imbalance in one area contributes to problems in the other, often creating a kind of vicious circle that diminishes your quality of life.

The Mind-Body Connection

One of the key pieces of advice if you're feeling stressed or depressed is physical activity. In such a mental state, you may not feel like doing much of anything, but research shows that even a 30-minute walk outside can elevate your mood and enhance feelings of well-being. One the flip side, there's evidence that engaging in mentally strenuous activities elevates your heart rate in the same manner as a rigorous workout.

The connection between an unwell mind and body can be seen in a number of ways. People with un-diagnosed clinical depression often have accompanying physical symptoms like generalized pain, digestive problems, and sleep disturbances that drive them to the doctor for help. However, their mental and emotional symptoms might be ignored as being over-tired.

You may be under the impression that a chronic or fatal illness like cancer or heart disease causes depression and anxiety. Research has found that people who already live with mental or emotional problems have a 41 percent higher risk of developing a serious illness.

Practitioners of holistic healing recognize this mind-body connection. They seek to strengthen it through a variety of means, including meditation, mindfulness, visualization. These components have been successful with everything from weight loss to pain management.

This is also proven in studies of chronically ill people who have been able to literally "think themselves well" by envisioning themselves as healthy. This can take the form of imagining a tumor shrinking by degrees, keeping consistent thoughts of walking straight and tall rather than bent over with back pain, or seeing yourself as fit and happy during your weight management efforts.

Re-imagining Yourself Healthy

Healthier living doesn't just happen overnight. Retraining your mind and body to incorporate any major habit takes at least 30 days. It's after the first month that the physical benefits become apparent, but the mental boost is noticeable much sooner.

The phenomenon known as a "runner's high" is an extreme example of the benefits of physical activity in our state of mind. Endorphins in our brain that are related to pleasurable feelings are released when we exercise.

This is because our brain is connected to our endocrine system, which secretes hormones that cause feelings of well-being that are released through physical exertion.

Anyone can incorporate mood-improving physical activity into everyday live easily by:

  • Finding opportunities to turn everyday activities into mini workouts; for example, bending and stretching while folding clothes or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Trying to get 30 minutes of uninterrupted physical activity each day.
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend sitting


How Nutrition Plays a Part

Most people know that practicing sensible eating habits contributes to health and disease reduction. What's less well-known is the role of diet on mental and emotional health.

Sugary foods enter the bloodstream faster, causing what's known as a “sugar rush" that is followed by feelings of depression or anxiety, which in turn leads to overeating unhealthy foods to lift the mood again.

This is also the beginning of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Trade complex carbs, processed foods, and foods that are high in fat, sugars, and salts for fresh vegetables, fruit smoothies supplemented with protein powder, limited amounts of whole grains, and healthy fat burners.

Keto diet for beginners might also be a path to look at for your overall health and energy level.

A bad state of mind doesn't necessarily cause ill health, but it can contribute to a worsening of the situation. Developing the habits that lead to a longer life that's infused with mental and biological health requires a balance of emotional wellness, proper nutrition, and physical activity.

Alaska Sleep Clinic continues to assist our communities in maintaining safety standards while receiving the services (Sleep study) that they need through several avenues like:

  • Telemedicine: Alaska Sleep Clinic is a group of four American Academy of Smiling family cooking together in the kitchenSleep Medicine accredited sleep clinics and now, Alaska Sleep Clinic is the ONLY sleep clinic in Alaska using SleepTM, the latest in sleep telemedicine technology.

    AASM SleepTM is a sleek telemedicine system from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. HIPAA-compliant and secure, SleepTM is a state-of-the-art telemedicine system for sleep medicine professionals and accredited sleep centers like Alaska Sleep ClinicAASM SleepTM is a secure, easy-to-use telemedicine platform that allows our patients to receive specialized medicine from a distance, saving time and travel costs, while practicing "social distancing" without sacrificing quality.

    AASM SleepTM is available for patients to download on both the iPhone and the Android. We mean it when we say that connecting with your patients has never been easier. 

  • Ordering CPAP supplies online and ASC shipping the supplies directly to you.


  • Appropriate appointment scheduling to assist with social distancing.


  • Clean patient environment and PRIVATE rooms for sleep study.

Alaska Sleep Clinic is the most comprehensive multi-site sleep lab in Alaska with clinics in Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and Soldotna. Call us today with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Our employees are available to you Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and after-hours and on weekends by appointment only.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, insomnia, sleep hygiene, mental

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