When everyone else in the house is asleep, do you find yourself taking a sheep census? Or watching late-night reruns? Or folding laundry to wear you out? If you are like most people with insomnia, you’ll do just about anything to get a few good Zzzs. One-third of all adults can’t sleep at one time or another. And as women get older, they’re especially prone to insomnia.
Once you turn 40, you are 40% more likely to experience some degree of insomnia, thanks to the midlife hormonal changes that precede menopause. During and after menopause, a common cause of insomnia is night sweats or hot flashes that occur during sleep. For most women, occasional insomnia isn’t much of a problem. But a wakeful night can leave you less than perky for the day at hand. Here is women physicians’ advice for those who crave some shut-eye.
You need to turn the clock to the wall because starting at the clock makes you tenser about getting back to sleep. Instead of checking the time, concentrate on restful thoughts. Dialing into you is a comfort zone, which makes sure that your bedroom isn’t too hot or cold. Many individuals sleep best in a cool room, so open the window when you turn out the lights.
If you haven’t gone to sleep after 20 minutes, you could try to head to another room and do something dull. If you distract your brain with something boring and stop fretting over wakefulness, you will nod off.
How to Prevent Insomnia
To prevent future episodes of sleeplessness, you have to follow this advice. Take a morning walk outside. Light exposure during the day helps keep your body clock regulated. An early morning walk in the daylight upon rising will help promote sleep at night. Set a daytime worry hour. Set a concrete time for worrying during the day, and be very focused on it. List each worry in writing, along with a plan for handling each one. When a worry wakes you, tell yourself that you have it covered and go back to sleep.
Resist the urge to nap. Napping during the day after a sleepless night will only throw your body clock off balance. You want to consolidate your sleep and get enough of it. Set a bedtime. Adults need a regular bedtime; just like children, we have body clocks that synchronize our systems. Establish a set sleep and wake time, then stick to it every day. That tells your clock to make you sleepy at night and wakeful in the morning.
Wind down before you get into bed. Give yourself about 45 minutes of quiet time before you get into bed. Because you’re body knows that the day is done and sleep time is imminent. Also, listen to some knowledgeable staff, write a letter something boring, but do nothing that jazzes you up and nothing work-related. De-stress the bedroom, you don’t sleep in your office.
Conversely, you shouldn’t work in your bedroom. Because your bedroom is for two things only: sleeping and sex, remove your computer, your office reading pile, your fax machine, emails, and even your iPhone if you can, and put your TV in the sitting room.
Lose the booze. if you need a good night’s sleep, don’t have a nightcap. Though you may feel relaxed at first, the use of alcohol will disrupt your sleep later. Avoid drinking anything alcoholic, and of course, avoiding caffeine is smart too. Moreover, there is solid proof that smoking disrupts sleep because nicotine is a stimulant.
It raises blood pressure, gets your heart going faster, and makes your brain more active. If you’re tired of everything and still can’t get good sleep, then it’s time to see your doctor. She may refer you to a sleep disorders clinic for further evaluation.