Optimizing Sleep for Women 40+
40+? You’re my person!
With 3+ decades in health and fitness, I’ve noticed a shift in my client base. It’s fascinating how the demographics have evolved along with my own journey. In my 20s, it was the young adults seeking guidance, much like I was back then. In my 30s, my clients seemed to mirror my own stage of life. And now, in my 50s, I find myself connecting with a special group – women between the ages of 40 and 60.
Ladies 40+, you truly are my people. While I work with women of varying ages, the 40 Plus group has a special place in my heart. Because I get you. Changing hormones and life circumstances lead over and over to one topic that frequently emerges… sleep. As we age, the ease of sleep we once took for granted can sometimes become elusive. I’m sure you can relate (if you can’t, I’m super jelly!).
Sleep is NOT An Option
Sleep is a foundational pillar of well-being, and its importance cannot be overstated. We know the drawbacks of inadequate sleep – the sluggishness, the irritability – but do we truly grasp the extent of its impact? Let me shed some light on how, even a slight sleep deficiency, can affect your daily life.
The truth is, many of us are living with sleep deficits, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be our new normal. For years, I’ve been advocating for reclaiming our sleep and fighting for it. Today, I’m here to share seven practical tips that you can implement to turn your sleep quality around, some of them starting tonight.
Before we dive in, let’s explore some eye-opening statistics. Did you know that missing just a couple of hours of sleep a night can double your risk of a car crash? You read that right. Even one or two hours less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep can have a substantial impact on your safety on the road.
But it doesn’t stop there. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation and disorders are far-reaching, from hypertension and diabetes to obesity, depression, heart attacks, and strokes. This isn’t a scare tactic; it’s a wake-up call to the reality of our sleep-deprived society.
Sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s the foundation on which we build our lives. Whether you’re striving for fitness goals, mental clarity, or emotional balance, it all hinges on the quality of your sleep. My own journey with insomnia has driven me to explore, experiment, and gather tools that can truly make a difference.
So here’s a collection of seven actionable tips and techniques that you stash away in your tool box of resources, pulling out what is feasible and makes sense for you now.
And for those seeking extra support, I’ve compiled a list of supplements that have personally aided me on my sleep journey. These aren’t magic pills, but rather tools to help you optimize your sleep environment and encourage relaxation.
In our modern world, the harsh blue light from screens disrupts our sleep patterns. Solution? Blue light-blocking glasses. These simple tools filter out sleep-disturbing blue light, preparing your mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.
For those who enjoy reading before bed, consider an amber neck reading light. This genius invention boasts an amber mode that minimizes sleep-disrupting light, allowing you to indulge in a relaxing read while easing into slumber.
I’ll admit I was slow to jump on this bandwagon as the picture conjured up memories of my hippie upbringing with all the red lights, amber lights, and the pot haze lingering about (seriously, though, I had an interesting and…colorful childhood ;-). But I decided to buy 2, one for the lamp in the living room for night and one for my bedroom bedside light so I can get ready for bed in lieu of a blue light.
Amplify your nighttime ambiance with a salt lamp. Beyond aesthetics, salt lamps emit a gentle, calming glow. Placed strategically in your bedroom, they help create a tranquil environment conducive to rest.
Epsom salt baths are a nighttime ritual that goes beyond mere relaxation. Rich in magnesium, these baths soothe your nervous system and encourage the release of sleep-inducing hormones. Dim the lights, add Epsom salt, and let your worries melt away.
The soothing scent of lavender has long been associated with relaxation. Diffuse a few drops of lavender essential oil, or place a drop on your pillow, and let this natural aroma guide you into a serene state of mind.
Stretching before bed might be the missing link in your sleep routine. Devote just 10-15 minutes to stretching to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, sending your body a signal that it’s time to wind down.
If you’re seeking additional support, consider these sleep-enhancing supplements.
“Adrenal Soothe” helps calm your adrenals, the source of cortisol. This has become part of my protocol as stress this year has soared and I wanted to give my body the best chance of reducing the cortisol that was slowly increasing.
This particular Melatonin in liquid form is non drowsy and allows for precise dosing and I personally only take it when my sleep gets thrown for a loop for a while.
“Mello” by sleep blend by NED combines l-theanine, GABA, and magnesium, promoting relaxation. 75% of Americans are low on magnesium and it’s a crucial electrolyte responsible for hundreds of body functions, including restful sleep.
For intense support, Sleep Blend by NED which contains CBD, CBN, Passion Flower, and more for another non-drowsy alternative.
Remember, you don’t need to implement everything at once. Pick what resonates with you, what feels simple, and what aligns with your needs. Sleep isn’t a battle to be fought; it’s a sanctuary to be nurtured. Let’s reclaim our nights, soothe our souls, and be intentional about rejuvenating practices that allow everything else we’re working so hard to achieve come to fruition far easier!