I don’t know anyone my age or ten years’ younger who doesn’t have a sleep disorder.
As I comb through my fitness journals, AARP bulletins and various news articles, there are at least one or two articles each month about sleep and sleep disorders. I have read them all. Most articles focus on age and sleep: reasons we don’t get enough or why we’ve had too much, the effect lack of shut-eye has on our brain, tips for lifestyle changes including nutrition and exercise, bedroom etiquette, potions and drinks, and the right mix of OTC or prescription meds. This is all in hopes we have a restful night like Sleeping Beauty—or like we used to.
I can’t remember how old I was when I first realized I couldn’t sleep through the night. It’s no wonder, experts say sleep deprivation can eventually cause confusion and other cerebral changes. My challenge is not uncommon. Yet, many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Fortunately, I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Even after following the expert’s advice I stop drinking liquids and eating sweets past 8:30p.m., avoid the 11:00 news, cover the LED light on my clock (yes, I still have a clock-radio on my night stand and refuse to use my smart phone to wake me), power up my “white noise” machine, close the shutters and keep the room cool. Lastly, I am not on any medications that would affect my sleep. I know I am lucky!
Pediatrician Harvey Karp says we can “learn from the best sleepers – babies – who spend up to 17 hours every day slumbering peacefully during infancy.” According to Dr. K’s theory, white noise machines that produce calming noises (i.e. the sound of water and waves) can help bring us back to the womb. This may be true, but there are other factors as older adults that keep us up at night. Babies, at their young age, don’t have to deal with the stresses we do as adults, yet one can argue getting fully acquainted with life in general can be very stressful. Let’s not forget they wake up and cry in the middle of the night too. 17 hours…Really, Dr. K?
I do my best to take the advice of experts. As a result, most nights I am sleeping better. I wake up refreshed and excited about the day. In the event I don’t, my husband complains because I was snoring and he couldn’t sleep. There is always hope!
Tune into our YouTube channel for some simple exercises to help you sleep like a baby. You can also follow us in September for Part 2 of this blog, “Sleep and Your Brain” when we share the latest research and advice to help you sleep more soundly. Nighty night!
In the meantime, if you want advice for yourself or a loved one on ways to start an exercise program or ways to change your behavior and reduce the effects of aging while having fun doing it, visit our website at www.lorimichielfitness, contact us via email or call us at 818-620-1442. We see fitness differently!