This week marks National Sleep Awareness Week. I’ve found that as I’m getting older, my sleep challenge is not so much about getting to sleep as it is staying asleep.
With all respect to Matchbox Twenty, I would rewrite their lyrics. “It’s 3 am, I must be: (1) having a hot flash; (2) aching all over; or (3) worrying about something.”
Here are some of my personal hacks for getting a good night’s sleep.
Temperature control. With menopause, I think that my internal thermostat is now permanently set to “wacko”. I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m sweating, I’m freezing... A huge help for this at night is layering. I always sleep with a sheet and two light blankets, even in the summer. That way I can adjust the external temperature throughout the night. I also sleep in pajamas. Not sexy, I know. But I figure there is nothing sexy about being sleep deprived, so I opt for this extra adjustable layer to get a good night’s sleep.
Addressing inflammation. Nighttime aches and pains can really interfere with getting quality sleep. Recently, I’ve been trying to address the root cause of what makes me uncomfortable at night, especially the role of inflammation. Look no further than The Love Club for excellent articles by @Dr. Gabrielle Francis and @Kylene Bogden on inflammation and recommendations for detoxification.
Don’t Touch that Phone! All of life’s worries have a way of waking me up at night and preventing me from getting back to sleep. The absolute worst thing I can do is reach for my phone. In addition to the blast of blue light, I will always find so many more things to worry about. Instead of reaching for the phone, I’ve taken the advice of @Molly Knauer and I keep a pad of paper on my nightstand. If something is bothering me – or I remember something I forgot – I write it down and then I can deal with in the daylight.
What are your sleep challenges? What are your strategies for getting a good night’s sleep?