Darlings, let’s talk about sleep over 50(or lack thereof)! As we get older and wiser, of course, it can be harder to get a good night’s rest. According to a survey, women over 50 are more likely to have trouble sleeping than younger women. And you know what? It’s totally normal! There can be many reasons why – hormonal changes, stress, and medical conditions. But don’t worry, there are ways to improve your sleep.
3 Tips to Improve Your Sleep Over 50
In my last couple of stories, I’ve talked about “taking the stairs” and being proactive about things you want to change in your life. Your sleep is no different. Here are some things you can do to help get your ZZZs.
If you want to change something, you need data on what’s working and not working at the time. In the spirit of “climbing the stairs” let’s take action! Start a sleep journal and take notes for a week.
Things to include in your sleep journal:
- What time do you start your nighttime routine (if you have one)?
- Detail your bedtime routine
- What time do you have your last meal or snack (and what is it)?
- When was the last time you had a caffeinated beverage?
- What time did you go to bed?
- Did you spend any time on electronic in bed? If so what did you do and for how long?
The next morning write down the following:
- What time did you rise?
- How well-rested to you feel on a scale from 1-10?
- What was your night’s sleep like? Did you wake up? How many times?
- What was the first thing you did when you woke up?
- What was the first thought you had in the morning?
Once you’ve done that, you’re armed with the knowledge you need to move onto making changes.
Improve Your Sleep Over 50 with a Schedule
First things first, you want to create a schedule. Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends. It might feel weird at first, but it’ll help regulate your body’s internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
Create a Calming Routine
Next, you want to make a relaxing bedtime routine. Maybe you like reading a book, taking a bath or listening to music. Make it special and something that you look forward to every night. It should not be thought of as a chore!
Rethink Your Sleeping Environment
Another thing to consider is your sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. If your home is big enough, try to ensure your room is only used for relaxation and sleep. It’s not very relaxing to look at your unused exercise bike in the corner every night before you lay down your head!
Now you can think more about the environment. Make sure your room is dark, quiet, and cool. You can use blackout curtains to block out light and earplugs or a white noise machine to block out noise.
Some products can also help improve your sleep. One you may want to consider is a weighted blanket to improve your sleep. They can help increase the production of hormones that regulate your sleep, like serotonin and melatonin. Plus, they can help reduce anxiety.
Another product you may want to try is a sleep mask, it can block out light and help reduce snoring and other breathing issues. Also, over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies like melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, or lavender may help improve your sleep as well. Please consult your doctor before trying anything new.
Understand the Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
As you implement changes in your sleep routine and environment, make sure you’re keeping track in your journal. Journal with the above questions daily and see what’s working for you.
In the end, you deserve a good night’s sleep! I can’t understate its significance to your overall health. Sure, it’s ok to have trouble sleeping sometimes, but if it’s a chronic issue, it’s important to talk to a doctor or sleep specialist. They can help identify the underlying cause and make a personalized plan. With a little effort and the right tools, you can have the best sleep of your life!
Have you noticed a change in your sleep as a woman over 50? Please share with me in the comments.