As we get a little older, many of us find that our sleep patterns change. Instead of sleeping through the night, we find ourselves waking up at 4am, wondering whether to go back to bed or get started with the day. Well, we can’t change how the aging process impacts our bodies, but, we can change the environment that we live in.
Let’s take a minute to imagine life 10,000 years ago. It’s sunset, and while you don’t have a watch, you know that it’s time to sleep. Over the course of the last hour, the sun has gently descended behind the mountains, turning the sky from blue to yellow to red to purple. There are dangers in the night, but, you feel safe in your cave, surrounded by your family.
Have you ever experienced something that sounded like a good idea… but, turned out not to be? This happened to me last week, when I joined a PhD research project on sleep and source memory at University of Texas. My boyfriend requested (more like pleading and imploring) that I join him.
What pops into your mind when you think about the following question – what does it take to get the most from life after 60? If you are like most people, your thoughts probably jumped to suggestions like “being more productive” or “following your passions.” There is nothing wrong with these instincts. After all, getting the most from every day requires us to take a proactive approach to how we structure our days.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important components of overall health and well-being, especially for older women. Unfortunately, as we age, our sleep patterns often become more irregular. We might find ourselves getting tired earlier, waking up earlier, or sleeping less deeply than before.
This is not just a matter of inconvenience. As I learned from my conversation with author and molecular biologist Dr. John Medina, sleep is one of the most important things for the aging brain. But, what can we do about it?
If, like many women our age, you are having trouble sleeping at night, yoga for insomnia may be just the ticket! Not only can the breathing exercises help you to relax, but, the poses can remove many of the aches and pains that keep you awake at night.