Just a little humour to kick-off what is an important topic: taking care of your breasts! Dr. Maureen Borghoff will be delivering a talk on breast cancer prevention, where prevention is rooted in healthy living practices that minimize your risk of cancer. Think active living, healthy eating, stress reduction and more areas of your life you just aren’t thinking of, and may not be managing well. We want to invite you all to join us for this event, and promise a lot of amazing information on how you can lead a healthier life. As the leading cause of cancer death amongst women, we need to work to protect ourselves from this devastating disease.
Saturday October 4, 2014
9:00am – 12:00pm
BAKA Gallery Cafe
2256 Bloor Street West
RSVP (416) 760-0895 or reserve your tickets online
$149 before September 27; $179 after September 27
Breast Health Matters!
Dr. Maureen will be outlining a prevention practice she calls “7 Steps to Healthier Breasts” and some of the steps might surprise you. Some you may be familiar with, but are really unsure how to put into practice. For each point, Maureen will show you how to turn this building block into an actionable plan so that you leave the workshop with a step-by-step personalized guide for achieving your health goals. Let’s take a closer look at one of the 7 steps so that you can have a sneak peak at what this talk will deliver.
Step Number 6 – Get Enough Sleep!
In our society today, sleep takes a back seat to work, family and general life demands. When we have a large project to finish for work we stay up until the early morning hours typing away at our computer and exposing our brains to melatonin-suppressing blue light. We might have consumed caffeine during the dreaded 3:00pm slump, and this leaves us feeling drained of energy but buzzing with alertness when we do finally crash into our bed. It is no wonder that a restless night of tossing and turning follows such a busy, draining day. It becomes a vicious cycle; the next day we wake up feeling anything but refreshed. Our first step is to hit the coffee maker and find in a large cup of joe the energy we need to head out to work. The 3:00pm slump hits hard, we reach for more stimulants so that we can once again stay up as late as possible. This sounds silly doesn’t it? So why are we doing this to ourselves?
A few things: this pattern of constant work and no downtime means our stress levels remain high. When the body is perpetually in a state of stress, it becomes susceptible to illness and disease. Our bodies release stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin, to mobilize the body in situations of stress. In a truly stressful situation – like facing a bear ready to attack you – this is important! The stress hormones enable our muscles to move, and move fast. More blood is pumped to the heart to mobilize our quick exit. In a typical modern day, we don’t actually face any attacking bears. We face bosses that are displeased with our work or too many demands squished into too tight timelines. But the body still mounts the same stress response; and because we seldom have that moment of release when the threat subsides, our stress response is constantly activated. You can imagine that, over time, our body just begins to feel fatigued from all this work. Our stress hormones can become depleted, the immune system is weakened, and we become highly susceptible to illness and disease.
Allowing for adequate time to rest and sleep each night is an important step in stress prevention. Good quality sleep is a body requirement! Don’t deprive your body of what it needs to function – minimally function! Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
To promote good sleep hygiene, support your body’s release of the natural sleep hormone melatonin. This means turning off the computer at 7pm each night and avoiding any gadgets (iPads included) that emit a blue light. The light from these electronics suppress your brain’s production of melatonin (or what you need to sleep!).
Other good pointers for obtaining restful sleep each night:
Sleep in a fully dark room. This might involve turning alarm clocks to face downward or towards the wall so that they do not “glow”;
Go to sleep at the same time each night, wake up at the same time each morning. Train your body to move in and out of sleep naturally and easily;
Go to sleep before 10pm at night. You gain your most REM sleep (think best sleep) between 10pm and 2am each night;
Avoid caffeine. If you must drink coffee, limit your intake to one cup a day and consume it before noon;
Gage how you respond to exercise. Some people find exercising stimulating, so it is best to avoid physical activity right before bed (sex excluded!). Others find exercise calming, and may be fine to do a light workout in the evening hours;
Practice yoga and meditation regularly to clear your mind and prepare your body for peaceful nights.
If you have sleep concerns that go beyond occasional restless nights, or that can’t be fixed with these lifestyle modifications, see your health practitioner. There may be other solutions available to you, or a deeper level of imbalance that needs to be addressed.
How can I build these best practices into a health protection plan? Maureen will guide you step-by-step through this process.
For more information on how to maintain healthy breasts, and live your best life, join us for the #boobyluv workshop! RSVP (416) 760-0895