Sleep Strategies for Optimal Metabolic Health
Sleep is vital for optimal metabolic health and is one of the 4 Pillars of Health that I encourage my client to work towards.
The Four Pillars: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep and Mental Health (stress reduction, mindfulness).
How to improve one’s sleep? The answer is multifactorial
There are a number of proven ways to get a better night’s sleep. These involve starting our day right and setting up a relaxing sleep routine and better sleep environment. Some of these are done right before bed, but some are done during the day in order to set you up for an overall better night’s sleep.
Implement some daytime activities for better nights:
- Start your day with your 3 gratitudes, some daily journalling and 10 min of mindfulness and/or meditiation
- Get regular exercise during the week (30 min daily) of strength, cardio, yoga or whatever you enjoy and will embrace for the long term.
- Focus on getting daily sunlight in the morning as the natural sunlight will reset your circadian rhythm.
- Start your day right with a nutritious breakfast or first meal of the day such as muesli, avocado toast, oatmeal, egg frittata or smoothie.
- Choose nutrient dense food choices at meals that include a source of Protein, Fibre and healthy Fats and low sugar carbs in order to balance daily blood sugar and reduce sugar roller coaster yo-yo’s throughout the night.
- Eliminate caffeine by 1 -2 pm at the latest and read labels related to caffeine content in other beverages or food such tea, chocolate, and some energy drinks.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol as it can disrupts sleep quality and quantity
- Stop eating at least three hours before bedtime or consider Intermittent fasting
- Drink water earlier in the day and reduce drinking beverages too close to bedtime.
Establish a sleep routine:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time, seven days a week, to establish a CIRCADIAN RTHYM
- Have a relaxing pre-bed ritual that readies you for sleep. This can be as simple as brushing your teeth and washing your face, dimming the lights; or can include breathing exercises or meditation.
- Run a warm bath before bed which can help with relaxation and as well as sprinkle some Magnesium bath salts. A Magnesium supplement or magnesium cream can also be beneficial.
- If you are having trouble falling asleep or going back to sleep after awakening, do not lie in bed worrying. Do something relaxing until you feel tired such as deep breathing or a short story.
Create a positive sleep environment
- Create a cool, dark room with a comfortable bed, pillows, and bed coverings. I am loving this new pillow which has also been great for my tight neck and shoulders called COMFYSLEEP – an organic buckwheat pillow from comfycomfy.ca. It is made in Canada from buckwheat hull and molds beautifully to the shape of your neck.
- If noise and light may disrupt your sleep try some earplugs or a fan and enjoy some lavendar eye pillows and invest in blackout curtains.
- Try to stop all screens at least 90 -120 minutes before bedtime as they are known to be sleep disruptors.
Marsha Fenwick, C.N.P. R.R.T.
Marsha is not your typical nutritionist. She began her career 20 years ago as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Later, she earned her certifications as a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner, Certified Nutritional Practitioner, and Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner. Marsha is also a Certified Cancer Coach. Her clinical practice specializes in: sustainable healthy weight loss, digestive health, women's hormones, diabetes, heart health, and cancer prevention and recovery. For more information and to book a FREE 15 minute consultation go to www.marshafenwicknutrition.com