One of the most common problems people have as they get older is that they have a hard time sleeping. Whether it's difficulty falling asleep, waking up throughout the night, or waking up feeling groggy in the morning, almost everybody has to deal with these issues at some point in their life.
This is one of the many health issues where it is "common" but it's not "normal". Meaning that just because everyone deals with it, doesn't mean that it's an inevitable part of getting older. Typically, trouble sleeping is a symptom of a variety of lifestyle problems that can be solved with better habits.
Most people drink too much caffeine, don't get any sunlight, don't exercise, eat processed food and then try to wind down at night with alcohol. All of these things are a recipe for sleep disaster. With just a few tweaks to your lifestyle, you can completely change how you sleep at night. So what are these changes we can make?
- Get early morning sunlight. This triggers your body to start producing melatonin in the evening. Combine it with a brisk walk to get some exercise as well!
- Stop drinking caffeine after 2pm. Even if you think caffeine doesn't affect your sleep, you'll still sleep better without it. If you need an afternoon pick me up, try herbal tea or a brisk walk instead.
- Get 60 minutes of exercise every day. This doesn't need to be workouts at the gym. 2, 30-minute brisk walks will work, especially if you're just getting back into an exercise routine.
- Limit sugar and processed foods. Junk foods causes blood sugar swings and inflammation, both of which can affect your sleep.
- Wind down with adaptogens, not alcohol. Try drinking some mushroom tea with reishi or herbal tea with chamomile to wind down and prep your body for sleep. Alcohol has a temporary sedative effect but soon after it will disturb your sleep.
Try these tips for a week and see if your sleep quality doesn't change. Leave a comment with your thoughts!