Sleep is a mysterious process for many older adults. When we are babies, we sleep… well, like babies.
As younger adults, we could doze peacefully with a rock concert going on outside our window. Then, in our 50s and 60s, strange things start to happen. Our internal clock “shifts” and we may find ourselves falling asleep after dinner and waking up at 4 in the morning.
Does a fog envelope you when you awaken in the morning, leaving you groggy and in-between the worlds of night and day? Or perhaps you feel like you are somewhere between Jekyll and Hyde?
When it comes to aging, we face all sorts of challenges. Aches and pains, declining physical abilities, and changing brain chemistry. The worst, however, might be insomnia.
How do you know when to sleep? It’s a ridiculous question, right? Doesn’t everyone fall asleep when it’s nighttime? In reality, it’s not that simple. If it was, so many of us older adults wouldn’t wake up at 4:00 in the morning, even though sun is still on the other side of the world.
One of the most common myths about aging is that older adults need less sleep. The reality is somewhat more complicated. It’s true that our sleep patterns shift as we get older, but, this doesn’t mean that we need less sleep.
When insomnia began to ruin this happy sleeper’s nights, I tossed and turned for hours. After a few months of misery, I figured out it’s best to do what the experts suggest: Get up.
Do you want to be happier? It’s so easy, you can do it with your eyes closed. Literally. Good sleep is essential to positivity. This is especially true for those of us in our 50s and 60s, who have a tendency to suffer from more sleep problems than we did when we were younger.
Have you ever noticed that all of your problems seem worse at night? I have! There have been times in my life when I have laid in bed for hours, tormented by my past and anxious about the future. I’m sure that this is a common experience for many of the women in our community.
After we reach our 60th birthday, it’s easy to blame our age for all of our problems. Feeling a little forgetful? That’s just a part of aging! Can’t lose those extra pounds? Don’t worry! It’s harder to lose weight after 60! Having trouble falling asleep at night? Deal with it! That’s what happens when you get a little older.
Our sense of smell is one of our least appreciated gifts. This is true during the day, when we rely on our vision and hearing to guide us through the world. Unfortunately, it is also true at night, when we largely ignore the scents in our bedroom.