Essential elements of sleep and recovery – Nordic Recovery Forum in Oulu

We are all told how necessary it is to maintain a healthy balance and get enough sleep every day. Unfortunately, this is not always so easily achieved. Nordic Recovery Forum that was held in Oulu on 11 January 2019 provided plenty of information on an effective sleep and recovery process. About a hundred and twenty participants gathered at the Oulu theatre to learn how to improve the quality of sleep, relax completely and reduce the level of stress.

The event was divided into two parts. The morning session started with a fascinating presentation by Kaisa Jaakkola, a writer and trainer from the wellbeing sector. Then professors Christian Benedict from the Uppsala University  and Vesa Kiviniemi from the University of Oulu took to the stage.

The afternoon session was devoted to the Neurosonic’s solution, the relaxation chair and its soothing effect on both physical and mental wellbeing. Participants also visited the stands to get to know to the products and services offered by innovative Oulu-based health companies: Nukute, QuietOn, Alexander Health Club, Laturi Corporation, Checkmylevel, Nutri-Flow and Spinech.

Rise and shine, can you?

According to Kaisa Jaakkola, only half of Finnish working age population know how to recover efficiently and only 1/3 is able to estimate own stress and recovery balance right. The key factors that affect our general wellbeing are: regular diet, sleep, stress, everyday routine, relationships with other people, work, family life, childhood experiences and our environment. 95% of recovery occurs during night so cutting down on sleep may have serious consequences. If we don’t know how to recover effectively, we aren’t able to focus during the day and we are more prone to diseases. Therefore, it’s extremely important to allow our brain to slow down and give it enough time to rest.

 Why does sleep really matter?

Professor Christian Benedict provided many meaningful examples on how important good quality sleep is in our life. First of all, it’s impossible for our brain to store all the information. That is why we take advantage of sleep to erase all the unnecessary data and make space for new experiences. Sleep helps us to recover from stress and experiences of the day. During the night we engage in the process that allows us to clear our mind and prepare for new challenges. We are usually very active during the day so if we don’t grant ourselves enough time to recover and deliberately choose to sleep less, we may soon feel overwhelmed. Sleep makes us process and filter wake experiences to reduce their emotional impact. As a result, we keep our emotions well-balanced.

Professor Benedict also highlighted the fact that continuous sleep deprivation may have serious short-term and long-term effects on our daily performance. Insufficient sleep slows down our reactions and puts us at risk of depression or even serious diseases, such as Alzhaimer’s or diabetes type B.

However, the good news is that we can learn how to make the most of good night’s sleep and wake up fully refreshed. What is more, we can use a wide range of devices that have been developed to help us sleep and recover better.

Release stress and tension with Neurosonic’s solution

 There is a strong connection between the quality of sleep and our daily performance. Neurosonic’s solution, the relaxation chair, comes to our aid and helps to improve both physical and mental wellbeing. According to Marco Kärkkäinen, psychotherapist responsible for Neurosonic Finland’s product development, vibrations through the body reduce stress faster than the psychological treatment of stress.

‘Neurosonic has developed a muscle and tissue stimulation form of therapy. Our relaxation chair uses low-frequency vibration that affects health in a holistic way. It increases the metabolism, blood circulation, fluid circulation and slows down the nervous system activity. If you add to these relaxing effects, stress-related symptoms, exhaustion and lack of recovery are relieved quickly. Therefore, the device is completely different from the traditional massage chairs’ explained Kärkkäinen.

Nordic Recovery was the first forum of this kind organized in Oulu. The topic of good quality sleep  and effective recovery has aroused considerable interest. Hopefully, the city will see more wellbeing-related initiatives also in the future.

 

Text and image: Joanna Seppänen, Health & Life Science, OuluHealth

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