Insomnia. Annoying, exhausting and mysterious. Sounds kind of like a horror flick, and for some people it is, and another thing we can all enjoy as we age.
Many things can cause insomnia, such as medications, diseases, everyday habits and even bedtime routines. The good news is that while sometimes you cannot change inevitable change in sleep patterns, you don’t have to settle for wide-awake nights and dog-tired days.
Experts have found that healthy, active adults can still find ways to get enough rest when their sleep patterns do change, so that they can still live the lives they want to live. It may be true that they need more time to fall asleep, wake up more often and for longer periods of time at night, and even wake up much earlier in the morning, but they still found ways to get enough sleep to feel refreshed.
So, what are these people’s secrets to overcoming this annoying thing called insomnia? They are doing everything from exercising in sunlight to saying no to that after dinner cocktail.
Your first step is to understand and accommodate the way your body and mind are sleeping now. Usually sleep changed don’t happen suddenly (unless you are dealing with a newborn or children…. And that is a whole other kind of sleep deprivation horror flick there!) Your sleep patterns can start changing as young as your 30’s even though you might now notice them right away.
Here are some tips to adjusting to your new sleep patterns:
It is inevitable that your timing and quality of sleep are going to change over time. Monitoring changes and adjusting to then is half the battle.
Tired at 8pm? Go to bed.
Just accept the change and go to bed earlier. Your need for seven to eight hours doesn’t change so don’t miss your chance to get it.
Can’t drop off to sleep in an instant? Be patient – you’ll get there.
As you age for some people it gets harder to fall asleep.
Waking up more in the night is common as you age
Once asleep as you age you go through your sleep patterns quicker than when you were younger. Researchers suspect that lower levels of growth hormone in your system may help explain why you spend less time in the deepest, most restorative sleep.
Wide awake at 5am? Get up.
Your body clock may have shifted to an early to bed early to rise schedule. Turning in earlier will help ensure that early wakeups aren’t a rude awakening. Besides that there is a growing trend out there that the most successful people in life, wake up earlier setting up their day for success. All the better is you body is ready for it!
Consider Daytime Naps
Power nap anyone? Even if you suffer from insomnia, studies have shown that a short daytime nap doesn’t have much impact on night time sleep. In other words taking a power nap will not make your insomnia worse, but it may give you the extra bit of sleep you need to make it through the day without hitting a slump in the afternoon. For some people this may not work, so it is best to experiment and try it for a couple of days. You may have to decide which matters most, using the nap to feel more awake during the day or trying to get all your sleep at one stretch at night. Whichever you do choose, the key is regularity. If you’re going to nap, do it at the same time every day to train your body and mind.
Come back on Wednesday when I will you some great advise on Improving your nightly sleep! We all could use some of that! No matter your age.
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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