Meg Carber, RD

Meg Carber, RD

Hi! I'm Meg, a Nutritionist in the Huntersville Lake Norman area. I serve up facts without fear and science without shame to help you nourish a strong mind + body.

Optimized sleep = optimized health

Sleep is precious around here these days. Motherhood has made me realized we can add *quality bedtime routine* to the list of things we do for our kids and may not do for ourselves.

Truth be told, falling asleep is more like landing a plane than flipping a switch. Carving out a little time before bed each night to create a relaxing routine can lead to deeper, more quality sleep.

According to research, adult need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When addressing your bedtime routine it’s important to make sure you get enough hours but there are also things you can do to maximize the quality of those hours. Over the next several nights, I challenge you to try to incorporate some of these tips for better sleep and see if you feel any more rested.

  1. Disconnect from devices. This includes phones, tablets, TVs, and computers. These devices emit blue rays similar to that from the sun and can interfere with the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. One Harvard study said to disconnect 2 hours before bed! This is hard for most, but recognize that even 30 minutes can make a big difference. Challenge yourself – if you’re already someone who gets an adequate amount of sleep but you do not wake feeling rested, disconnect from your device 30-45 minutes prior to bed and see if you feel more rested after a few nights of this habit. You may be surprised!

  2. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.

  3. Avoid naps. This is especially important late in the day or if you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep.

  4. Stick to a schedule. Weekends may make this one hard, but the body craves consistency. Stick to a regular bed time and wake up time. Remember that falling asleep is like landing a plane and allow yourself plenty of time to unwind before you actually fall asleep.

  5. Minimize caffeine. Not only can caffeine make it harder to fall asleep, but it can impact the amount of deep sleep you get.

  6. Make changes to your environment . As the evening winds down, begin dimming lights. Once you go to bed, be sure your room is dark or invest in a sleep mask like this one.

  7. Assess your room. An ideal sleep setting is a cool and dark room. Consider a sound machine like this one or run the fan.

  8. Avoid alcohol and heavy meals late in the day. Like caffeine, alcohol can also interfere with deep sleep. A heavy meal could lead to indigestion and discomfort.

  9. Invest in some products that help set the stage for a relaxing night and restful sleep.

  • What are you supposed to do with your time if you disconnect before bed?

  • Try to read, journal, or use an adult coloring book. If you know me, you know this

coloring book is right up my ally.

  • Right before bed is also an ideal time to practice yoga or light stretching.

  • Try meditation with an app like Calm or Headspace.

  • Take a hot Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is naturally high in magnesium which helps soothe aches and pains. Magnesium can also help with melatonin production. Bonus point if its lavender scented like this one!

  • Pour yourself a cup of self care. Chamomile or sleepy time tea are my personal favorites. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s caffeine free! Magnesium containing drinks like this one are also a great bedtime ritual.

What is one tip you can commit to incorporating?

 


Meg Carber, RD is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Please note, I will never link to an item I have not personally used and love! The revenue generated helps create new content each week.

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