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Midlife & Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a Brief in September 2017 that looked at quality and duration of sleep among women aged 40 to 59 by menopausal status. And guess what they found?

Yes, you most likely already know: Sleep duration changes with advanced age; and both duration and quality of sleep are influenced by simultaneous changes in reproductive hormones. In other words, you may experience sleep disturbances (not getting enough sleep, having trouble falling asleep, not being able to stay asleep) during that time in your life. What to do?

Besides talking to your doctor about your changes in sleep patterns, make sure to practice good Sleep Hygiene to help improve the quality of your sleep. Here are some tips:

  • Figure out the sleep schedule that works best for you and follow it every day of the week
  • Don’t consume alcohol and caffeine in the evening
  • Avoid tobacco products, especially in the evening
  • Spend time in bed only to sleep or to have sex (no reading, no screen time, etc.)
  • Establish a pleasurable bedtime routine
  • Make sure you are done with any form of strenuous exercise three to four hours before your bedtime
  • Regular exercise (see above though!) in the late afternoon may help with your sleep
  • If you cannot fall asleep, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning for more than 15 minutes. Get up, go to another room, sit in a comfortable chair or couch, and read until you are drowsy. Only then is it time to go back to bed.
  • Reduce light, noises, and temperature extremes, if you can

What are your tricks that help you fall asleep and stay asleep? Let me know!

And, if you’d like a copy of the Brief mentioned above, contact me.