Why You Can't Sleep--And What To Do About It

How To Sleep Through The Night

Roughly sixty million Americans have a hard time getting enough zzz’s, and most are women over the age of sixty-five. There are a host of reasons why we toss and turn and struggle to sleep. By identifying the one that’s keeping you awake and then remedying it, a good night’s sleep can be more than just a dream.

OVER-THINKING: When you can’t get your mind off something and it’s keeping you from falling asleep, don’t fight it. Get out of bed, go to another area in your house and read something very boring (put on only one light). When you feel drowsy, walk carefully back to bed. Pre-empt worrying thoughts by taking time in the late afternoon or early evening to write down your problem and what you can do to solve it.

SLEEPING IN: If you haven’t gotten to bed until the wee hours, don’t be tempted to set your alarm for later the next morning. It will throw your internal clock off and make it harder to maintain a solid sleep routine.To make up for lost sleep, take an afternoon nap the following day but make it no longer than 20 minutes. Any longer, and you might end up tossing and turning at night.

A NOISY BED PARTNER:  If your partner is a snorer it could sound as loud as a vacuum cleaner. That’s eighty decibels! It’s no wonder you wake up from a deep slumber. Ask your partner to sleep on his side instead of his back. If that doesn’t work, suggest your partner see a doctor for other possibilities. It could be sleep apnea and in that case, there are remedies.  

WACKY HORMONES: When you’re going through perimenopause hormones are swinging up and down and they can sabotage even the deepest sleeper. Avoid caffeine after lunch and alcohol at least three hours before you’re tucking in. If you’re having hot flashes, make sure the room is cool and wear a light cotton gown or nothing at all.  HUNGER: The simple fact is that hunger pangs can wake you from a deep sleep. Save some of your daily calories for a high-protein bedtime snack, such as a small serving of cheese or a hard-boiled egg. Protein will keep your body satisfied longer than carbohydrates or fat.   
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