Sleep is a hot health topic these days. A lot of women struggle to get a good night’s sleep — especially moms and those of us aged 50 plus.
I thought I had a pretty good pre-sleep routine in place, until I got back from my trip ten days ago. I’ve been taking naps when I can, but I still found myself falling asleep before 8:00pm, and the waking up at 2:30am! I kept expecting to get back to normal, but by last night I knew I needed to address the issue. I did some research and added a warm bath and freshly washed sheets to the steps I already take each night to ensure a deep, refreshing sleep.
Check off which of the steps you could add or the habits you could change so you can get your sleep on:
☐ Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends — this helps regulate your body’s clock
☐ Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Here is my current routine:
— I try to avoid screens before I go to bed. If I need to check my smartphone, I make sure the screen is set to low brightness and/or nightshift
— I try to eat earlier in the evening, avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol (this step is a tough one for me!)
— I drink one cup of caffeine-free herbal tea (chamomile, mint, sleepy-time blend)
— I take a warm bath or shower (this is a new step I’m trying)
— I read a novel printed on paper
☐ Avoid naps — I love napping, so when I take one I try to keep it to 40 minutes
☐ Exercise daily
☐ Make sure your room is cool, quiet, and dark. Consider blackout curtains, eye shades, and earplugs or white noise machines, if needed.
☐ Check that your mattress and pillows are in good shape. Mattresses only last 9-10 years