Did you know that women need more sleep than men? According to the National Sleep Foundation, a lack of sleep can have more negative effects on women physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Throughout the day, women’s brains tend to multitask much more than men; so naturally, their brains require more time to rest and recuperate – a great reason to tell your partner to let you sleep in.
It’s so easy to forgo sleep, or to assume it’s not a big deal if you average less than seven hours of shuteye each night. In reality, however, lack of sleep can be incredibly damaging to the brain; and after the age of 50, it’s especially important to do anything you can to combat extra wear and tear.
On a more “fun” note, getting enough sleep – or “vitamin S” – is one of the best ways women over 50 can slow the aging process. Here are six essentials for women over 50 (or any age, really) to ensure you receive the most restful night’s sleep possible.
1. Blackout Curtains
Did you know that skin has light receptors that can be set off, even by artificial light? So it’s not your imagination that those glowing street lamps are keeping you awake. Blackout curtains are a great way to create the perfect sleep sanctuary.
2. Cool Temperatures
Lowering your body temperature allows you to sink into relaxation mode. Ideally, your room should be set at 65 degrees; but the most important thing is to keep your head cool (especially if menopause symptoms have you tossing and turning at night). Try a pillow designed to stay cool throughout the night, and you’ll notice a huge difference.
3. Comfortable PJs
Of course, PJs in buttery soft fabrics are a must. But avoid styles that are too constricting or too billowy (bunched up fabrics throughout the night can disrupt your sleep).
4. Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are relaxing, soothing, and a great way to sneak in some extra water at the end of the day. Plus, the anti-aging antioxidants in many tea blends are fantastic for women over 50.
5. Quality Bedding
Thread count absolutely matters. Is there anything better than slipping into a perfectly made bed with luxuriously soft sheets? When shopping for bedding, look for a thread count of at least 300 – preferably, in Egyptian cotton.
6. Technology-Free Time
If you usually fall asleep watching TV or scrolling through your smart phone, now is the time to ditch that habit. Although it may make you sleepy, light from device screens can actually disrupt the quality of your sleep because your brain hasn’t had a chance to slow down. At least an hour before bedtime, shut down the computer, put your phone away, and do something relaxing such as reading a book or coloring. Dim the lights or light your favorite candle, and start winding down from the day. Going through this relaxation process sets you up for a restful night’s sleep once your head hits the pillow.
Do you have any favorite sleep tips to add to our list? Share them in the comments below!
**Here’s one more to help. Those technology devices like smart phones and computers give out a blue light that interferes with brain rhythms. Now a Blue Light blocking glasses have been developed to wear when you’re on your computer or phone close to bedtime.
Blue Blocking Amber Glasses for Sleep – to help you relax your eyes and sleep.
Main Image: © Tmcphotos | Dreamstime.com – Happy Woman Wearing Sleep Mask On Bed Photo