Not only does sleeping well make you feel great, getting quality sleep each night is important to so many of our natural and biological functions. Sleep affects everything from body weight, to metabolism, to brain function to disease. It is the time when our bodies heal themselves and it is imperative to our health and happiness. In this post, I’ll outline ways to sleep well in your 40s and 50s and share some products I’ve found that are conducive to great sleep.
Why Sleep Becomes Difficult In Your 40s and 50s
As women’s bodies age, sleep becomes more and more elusive. In our 40s and 50s, perimenopause begins followed by menopause. Personally, I was surprised to learn that this process can take actually take five to ten years from beginning to end. During this time, women’s hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone) begin to fluctuate causing sleep disturbances in addition to other menopausal symptoms.
While men do not experience menopause, they do often go through androgen decline, which is similar to menopause in that it involves a decline in the hormone Testosterone. Also called Low T, this process can trigger sleep disturbances in men similar to those experienced by women.
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What You Can Do About Insomnia In Your 40s and 50s
If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent insomnia in your 40s and 50s, the short answer is, “it’s complicated.” The truth is, it depends on specifically what is causing your sleeplessness. But, the good news is that it is possible to correct menopause-related sleeplessness in middle age through a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle changes and products designed to minimize symptoms.
Medical Treatments for Menopause Related Sleep Disorders
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is one treatment that can help with sleep disorders brought about by menopause. In years past, HRT got a seriously bad wrap. It started in the early 2000s following the results of the first Women’s Health Initiative in the United Kingdom (UK) which determined that HRT caused more problems in women that it helped. This story became sensationalized in the media and caused a serious health scare, causing many women to fearfully resist HRT. Later, other studies proved that HRT could be quite helpful to menopausal women. However, much of the fear still remains to this day. If you’re thinking of HRT, find a great doctor that specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources and are biologically identical to human hormones, which many say is a significantly healthier option for women. I have personally been on bioidenticals for years and I feel terrific. For more information about BHRT, check out this helpful Healthline article and make an appointment with a doctor in your area that specializes in bioidenticals.
HRT replaces the hormones that our bodies lose as we age which in turn minimizes some of the unpleasant side effects of the menopause process such as hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia.
Another treatment often prescribed for menopause-related symptoms such difficulty sleeping are birth control pills. And, while the treatment is different, the strategy is similar – balance the hormones, reduce the symptoms.
How to Use Supplements to Reduce Menopause-related Symptoms and Get Good Sleep
For women who prefer a supplement strategy to a hormone replacement strategy, there are many… many… many products on the market that naturally ease symptoms and promote better sleep. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on just a few that I like.
Equelle is a women’s health supplement that promises to reduce menopausal symptoms such as insomnia and night sweats. Made by the trusted brand Nature Made, the active ingredients in Equelle are hormone free. Instead the product uses S-equol, which is derived from Soy Isoflavins and has been shown in some studies to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and muscle aches. You can pick up Equelle on Amazon and it’s Prime eligible. It takes eight to twelve weeks to properly work, so you might want to choose the subscribe payment method on Amazon and save five or ten percent on your purchase.
CalmaDream is premium natural sleep aid that I found on Amazon. To be clear, there are many natural sleep supplements out there to choose from. I did quite a bit of research and chose this one for a few reasons. First, it is non-habit forming and also contains a nice balance of ingredients including Valerian, Ashwaganda, Melatonin, Passion Flower, Magnesium and 5HTP. This is a powerful combination of herbs and minerals that promote sleep. I researched other products that were more expensive and only included a few of the ingredients in CalmaDream. The other thing I liked about this product is that it’s free of binders, fillers, additives and contaminants. And, at less than $20 per bottle, it’s quite low cost. I like CalmaDream and I think you will too, so give it a try!
Magnesium is an essential mineral that humans need. Getting optimal amounts of Magnesium daily (at least 100mg per day) is needed for bone health, lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, maintaining healthy muscles, prevention of migraine headaches, lessening of the symptoms of severe PMS and lessening the chances of anxiety disorder. Taking Magnesium in supplement form is also sleep inducing so it’s great to take before bed. I personally take 400mg of Magnesium Glycinate before bed to ensure that I get enough of this vital mineral and sleep soundly.
Lifestyle Changes that Will Promote Good Sleep in Your 40s and 50s
In addition to medical interventions and supplements, there are lifestyle changes you can make that will dramatically improve your chances of consistently sleeping well.
Get a Great Bed
First, make sure you have a great bed. For years I woke up stiff and sore from sleeping on a bed that didn’t properly support my body. I recently got a new bed and I can’t believe the difference it made in how well I sleep. These days, a new bed doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Take for example the Puffy Mattress which is reasonably priced under $1000 for some models. With over 9,000 5 star reviews, Puffy is confident in promoting itself as “America’s Most Comfortable Mattress” and its customers seem to agree. Benefits of the Puffy Mattress include:
- 101 Night Sleep Trial means that you can test sleep the Puffy for 101 days and still send it back at no cost and a with a full refund if you are not satisfied.
- Puffy offers a lifetime warranty.
- All parts of the Puffy are made and assembled right here in the USA.
- Puffy ships free within one to three business days of placing your order.
- Puffy was designed to be placed on any surface.
- Puffy was designed for all sleeper types and has one multiple “Best Mattress” awards for all types of sleepers.
- The Puffy Mattress Cover is hypoallergenic, protecting it’s owner from dust, mites and allergens.
- Puffy’s cooling gel cloud layer is breathable and optimized for temperature control. It’s cool to the touch and does not absorb heat.
Create the Optimal Sleeping Temperature
We sleep better when the temperature is lower, particularly in warmer climates. I personally set my thermostat for 66 degrees every night and it makes a big difference in my sleep quality. You can also invest in devices that create a cooler environement.
Moona uses water cooling to regulate your temperature by focusing on the head and neck area with cooling pillow technology. Moona monitors you and learns from your sleep in order to determine exactly what temperature is best for you to fall asleep, stay asleep and gently wake up. With a comfortable memory foam pillow pad, a 30-nights trial and a one year warrantee, trying Moona is risk free. Check it out today!
Use Cooling Antibacterial Sheets
Sheets make all the difference! I once ordered the prettiest set of microfiber sheets only to realize later that they trapped heat inside the bed at night and were not comfortable. You want to look for sheets that are made of natural fibers, providing the right balance of comfort and breathability.
Bamboo is the perfect material for sheets. I have these bamboo sheets on my own bed at home. They are extremely soft, moisture wicking, and thermoregulating. Best of all, Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, which means that if you do experience night sweats, they won’t trap odors and bacteria like microfiber or cotton sheets do. The price is right on these luxurious sheets as well. Give them a try today!
Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes, Caffeine and Spicy Food
It’s well known that alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine exacerbate hot flashes and night sweats and may disrupt sleep in other ways as well. According to the Sleep Foundation, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and spicy foods can all cause changes in body temperate and should be avoided if sleep is an issue. I recently cut back on the amount of wine I drink, reserving it only for special occasions. This has truly made a big difference in the quality of my sleep at night. What I’ve replaced it with are nonalcoholic beverages containing vitamins, adaptogens and nootropics to promote relaxation and reduce stress. I love them!! My favorite is a drink called Zenify. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my recent post on this subject here.
Wear Loose Fitting Breathable Pajamas
Wear light, loose fitting pajamas in natural fibers. As with sheets, pajamas made from bamboo are a terrific option since bamboo is cool to the touch, helps regulate temperature, is breathable and antibacterial. For soft, stylish and affordable bamboo options, take a look at GYS Bamboo Pajamas. I personally have several pairs of these. They are the lightest weight, softest pajamas I’ve found and you can’t beat the price!
GYS Soft Sleeveless Night Dress is a soft, comfortable and breathable night dress that’s perfect for hot sleepers. Don’t miss this adorable satin-trimmed v neck night dress!
GYS Bamboo Pajama Tank and Shorts Set is so cute and comfortable! The tank and shorts feature pretty lace trim and just the right amount of stretch. This sweet set is perfect for keeping you cool and content.
This GYS Bamboo Pajama Tshirt and Shorts Set is my personal favorite. With just the right amount of cool comfort and coverage, this tshirt and shorts set is perfect for keeping me cool at night. I love this pretty lavender but there are lots of colors to choose from.
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