Sleep – are you getting enough? 7 Easy changes to make sure you do
Are you getting enough sleep?
If like me, you are menopausal or peri-menopausal then no you are probably not getting enough sleep. If you are stressed, have kids, have a job, have a life! then again no you are probably not getting enough sleep. But the question is how much sleep should you be getting? If you know the answer to this then you are probably able to let go of that worry and concern especially when you realise that you may have been aiming for too much sleep.
This year I have been addicted to my Fitbit, as you know if you follow any of posts on FB. The sleep information is particularly interesting, I don’t post that because I don’t want you to know I am a 6am nutter. You wouldn’t like me if you knew that 😉 You’d think I was odd.
Knowing how much sleep I really get has been fascinating. I definitely don’t get 8 hours. I don’t need 8 hours. I am okay at 7 hours, in fact, I have noticed that if I get up early (with a nudge and a cuppa of tea) then I fall asleep more easily and stay asleep. So I wonder if you are actually aiming and trying to get too much sleep? What do you think?
Why not allow your body to help you find your true balance for rest and rejuvenation.
How much sleep should you get?
Well if you are 5 years old you are going to be sleeping whenever you can – as a teenager you need to sleep until midday because you are growing! Apparently! If you are a gorgeous girl of a certain again your sleep will be different, the amount you need will be different and stressing about how much you are getting or not getting ain’t going to help your situation.
Having read my blogs you will know that I am a big advocate of ‘do your research’ and when I say research I mean do your own research on you. Find out as much as you can and apply it to yourself.
You are your own best Dr, you know what works for you. Here are 7 crazy and slightly tongue in cheek ways to get more sleep, read, enjoy and apply the ones that work for you. DO NOT get hung up on all of them, add one new adaptation to your routine, work on the adaptation, set it as a habit and incorporate it into your long term schedule and strategy.
1. Sleep apps
I have worked with many sleep apps, Fitbit analysis and sleep downloads on Omvana Headspace and more recently Insight Timer. I do love them. They work. Omvana.com is my favourite because it has so many apps to listen to, I love the variety of voices and tones. There are other meditation apps like Headspace that are good, find one that works for you, the voice, the ambience, the connection that works for you.
Omvana.com is my current favourite because it has so many apps to listen to, I love the variety of voices and tones. There are other meditation apps like Headspace that are good, find one that works for you, the voice, the ambience, the connection that works for you.
2. Do you need 8 hours?
My Fitbit changed my life. Once I noted and analysed my natural waking I figured out that I don’t actually need 8 hours sleep. This revelation came as a huge relief to me. Of course, there are times when I need more than 8 hours. On a recent ferry journey where the whole family managed to pick up a sickness bug, I ended up sleeping for 2 days! However in general when I am well and fighting fit I wake naturally at 7am or even earlier if I am lucky. The summer months are different from the winter months.
Don’t Miss: Fitter and happier at 50 than 20!
It is like wine analogy, you could knock back a bottle of Pinot Grigio in your 20s no problem and still look sophisticated, cool and no hangover in the morning (or that is what you tell yourself). On the arrival of your menopause or late 30s and a couple of glasses is more than enough. Sleep is the same, you may not need as much so don’t get hung up on it.
3. Sticking to regular waking and sleeping hours.
You may be an owl or a lark? Which is it? Knowing and understanding yourself will aid you, sticking to regular waking and sleeping hours will be of great benefit to you and your circadian rhythm.
4. Start ironing!
That was the advice I was given when I had trouble getting to sleep. It felt like a joke, a bad female joke? Sounds like hardcore advice to me. The idea behind the comment is to do something that is mind-numbingly boring. A task or a job that requires no thought, something that you don’t have to think about. In my world reading a book is not the way to get to sleep. I read a book, I LIVE in that book at that moment in that passion. I get excited, I get over emotional and my brain waves start firing off, I do not get sleepy.
5. Exercise Like a LUNATIC
Yes, I have to admit to this one. My mum uses her own expression she ‘runs around in order to sit down’. I am a full on pain in the arse annoying, ‘doer’. My tactic is to exercise in the morning, get completely exhausted so I fall into bed.
Exercise in the evening is not great for a good nights sleep right? Exercise in the morning, active and busy throughout the day and then you are so tired you fall asleep instantly.
You know exercise in the evening is not great for a good nights sleep right? Exercise in the morning, active and busy throughout the day and then you are so tired you fall asleep instantly.
Well, that kinda works!
As you approach the menopause overdoing it during the day can have a negative effect on your hormones. Cortisol is the menopause women’s worst enemy. The hormone Cortisol is raised when you get stressed, you can become stressed by pushing yourself. Exercising hard and fast in the evening is going to make that cortisol rush worse. Of course, it depends on you and the sort of exercise you choose. My Pilates DVD would definitely calm you down before bed – just saying;-)
6. Eradicate BLUE Light
This point needs to be made loud and clear. What is the blue light?
Blue light is on your telly screen, computer screen, iPhone, blah blah blah. Your body wakes up to blue light, the colour blue is genetically and fundamentally part of your DNA and it is used by your body to keep you awake. Blue lights WAKE you UP!
90 minutes before you go to bed, switch off your computer and remove your iPhone from your bedroom, charge it elsewhere in the house. If Aunt Mabel wants to get hold of you in an emergency she will find you, so get rid of your iPhone remove it from the side of your bed.
7. What you eat during the day
What you eat during the day will have an effect on how you sleep at night. I have practised and played with this for years. I teach late at night and have to eat when I get home. I am hungry and want to eat something that will help me sleep.
Eating protein evenly throughout will help you sleep at night.
Magnesium is a great supplement to help menopausal women or you can have a bath in Epsom salts – tried it didn’t like it, might work for you. Let me know.
Read also: The problem with protein powders!
High magnesium foods include:
- dark leafy greens,
- whole grains,
- dried fruit,
- dark chocolate.
There are some foods on that list I won’t eat in excess because of the high fructose sugar rush like bananas or too they contain too much Omega 6 like nuts. I am a big nut fan however you need to know the best ones to consume. Macadamias are a highly anti-inflammatory nut because they have a high monounsaturated fat content. Almonds are the second most anti-inflammatory nut and low levels of Omega 6.
SO my easy suggestion is to munch on green leafy veg before bed!
I think not! I prefer FAGE yoghurt – full fat and full of magnesium, probiotics and makes me full and happy. It works for me. What will work for you?
I prefer FAGE yoghurt – full fat and full of magnesium, probiotics and makes me full and happy. It works for me. What will work for you?
“The secret is to include your nutritional habits like – adding more protein, drinking more water, decreasing carbs and then investigate to discover what you personally need. My energy levels are through the roof at 50, way more than I was at 20 or even in my 30s.”
Feeling good about yourself and feeling fulfilled comes from learning, learning about yourself and what you can do to make changes. Happy changes. Interested? Book a call with me to find out more
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“Gorgeous! The psychology of this book has opened my eyes into realising that things have to change and can change. For the better. The other topics on eating and the misconceptions of what to eat have blown my mind and understanding the importance of fitness from both a physical and mental perspective. I’m so pleased I trusted my gut and bought this book“
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