I’ve filled books, blogs, and videos full of information on why sleep is the woman-over-50’s secret sauce. If you’re in total agreement and can’t get the sleep you desperately want and know you need, this blog about how to get better sleep is for you..
I’ve rounded up some of my best tips for stacking the odds and pillows in your favor. Many of these are taken from my newest book Hot, Not Bothered where After 30 years of working with women in midlife, I’ve included 99 science-based flips that features midlife or menopausal women!
If you’re in a hurry to get to sleep, scan the bold subtitles below for the one that best describes you.
I’ve Tried Everything to Get Better Sleep!
Try carbs at night. Eating carbs at night helps to increase your serotonin production. Serotonin is your feel-good hormone. You’ll sleep better void of anxiety. As counter-productive as this flip may seem if you’re a midlife woman who wants to lose weight, you may even find you shed a few pounds if you’re eating the right carbs at night. The right carbs are resistant starches. White potatoes are back on the menu, as long as they’re cold. So a potato salad is perfect, or if you hunger for something warm, go with winter squash or sweet potato instead. Beans, quinoa, and brown rice are other good options.
Close the kitchen two or three hours before bedtime. Your body can’t multitask very well. Don’t make it choose between resting to replenish every cell in your body or digesting. Bonus: Check under-eye baggage off your list. If you stop eating earlier you’ll look better in the morning!
I Sleep at Home but Toss and Turn In a Strange Bed
You may want to try boosting your magnesium when you travel. Ideally, you’re already hitting your mag minimum in a multivitamin. I use an extra supplement with dinner. If you struggle with constipation when you travel, magnesium will help with this too. Look for magnesium citrate and avoid oxide, which is harder on your system.
Magnesium is recommended “to tolerance.” Your need is unique to you. So you need to test it. Start with small amounts to find your personal sweet spot. Keep monitoring for the balance between sleep and digestive needs. You can get magnesium by bathing in Epsom salt bath too, which can also help you relax. Consider bringing some while you travel!
I Don’t Have the Luxury of Sleeping In
Are you tempted to catch up on sleep in the morning? I (and lots of research) would suggest you don’t. Say goodbye to your snooze button. We often blame poor sleep on hormones. Your circadian rhythm has a lot to do with your hormones. You can reset it by getting up at the same time seven days a week 365. This is a hard rule, but worth it in the long-run. If work dictates what time you get up some days, it dictates what time you get up all days.
Another tip for circadian rhythm reset is to get sunlight first thing when you wake, or at least turn on bright lights. The more sunlight you get throughout the day the better. On the flip side, limit your light at night. For times you need to catch up, go to bed earlier. Set your morning routine and your body will begin telling you when you’re tired at night. If you listen you’ll start getting more quality sleep soon.
This post was sponsored by the great folks at Sleep Number.
I’d love to hear from you. What’s the first thing you’ll try for better sleep?