Sleep and the Baby Boomer.
Nowadays that’s an oxymoron to most of us. We’ve hit our baby boomer years and have all too common adult sleep problems older adults have, we cannot sleep worth a darn. There are a number of common sleep problems older adults have, but scientifically, according to the National Sleep Foundation, it is a common misconception that as we age we need less and less sleep. So our problem is in our head, literally. We fall asleep less easily and our sleep patterns are different than when we were younger.
Mentally, sometimes the dreaming doesn’t come so easily and we end up thinking in the middle of the night instead of dreaming in the middle of the night. This also happens to run in a pattern of three nights of restlessness and then one night of great sleep. Well, there are a few things we CAN do for sleeping trouble. And there are alot of things that we can STOP doing and between the two, our dreams will hatch. So BEFORE you do the sleep insomnia treatment, try a few other remedies.
STOP eating that big protein rich meal with the steak and potatoes closer than about two or three hours before bedtime. You may feel sluggish there for a bit but then all that protein and carbs start to enter the blood stream. I personally love that juicy slice of meat, but protein gives your brain a bunch of extra energy and you’ll sleep restless or at the least you’ll have vivid non-restful dreams, and there is where your sleeping trouble starts. The potatoes give your body a boost of carbohydrates and then it’s not ready to settle down either so it’s ready to get up and go.
DO eat a couple of cookies and drink a little milk right before bedtime. If the ole stomach can’t handle the lactose, try some coconut/almond milk. If you’re a full-on diabetic, I don’t know whether sugar free cookies will fit the bill because the trick is to bump the blood sugar up just long enough for you to enter that sluggish state after a meal but not enough to energize your body. So you drop off to sleep.
DON’T do any strenous exercises such as the treadmill, or weightlifting, later than one hour before bedtime. This raises the heartbeat, shoots some adrenaline in the body and tells your body you’re ready to go to work!
DO get 30 minutes of exercise sometime during the day, whether it’s walking, running, weightlifting, Bowflex or whatever. It can’t hurt. It’s also good for the heart, lungs, diabetes if you have it, and your attitude! Which a good attitude in turn helps with adult sleeping problems!
DO start yourself a journal, keep it next to your bed, and write in it every night, sometimes a couple sentences, other times a paragraph or two. And at 3AM when Mrs Felino’s cat decides to sing it’s praises to that feral barn cat living under your back porch, write that all down. Use that journal to write down every problem you can come up with in the middle of the night, and just pour it out onto the paper.. Because the next morning, you will be able to go back and ponder those problems then, instead of 3AM. Then your brain can relax, you’ve got the problems under control, there’s no sleeping trouble!
DO buy a fan, turn it on YOU in the summer, turn it toward the ceiling in the winter, but turn it on, it not only masks noises, such as Mrs Felino’s cat, but in the summer, it’s a nice breeze, in the winter it’ll blow the warm air down around you instead of hoarding it near the ceiling and keeping the attic warm.
DO perform a little breathing exercise right before sleep. Slowly take in three deep breaths, all the way in, and push them all the way out. This increases your oxygen levels and has a calming effect, your brain doesn’t have to concentrate on getting the oxygen levels up., and it starts relaxing, it has plenty of the absolute foremost requirement for the body to survive, oxygen, and it relaxes, then concentrate on taking long slow breaths. Try taking several deep breaths while you’re reading this article and what does your body do? Your breathing slows down, and you start to relax. This also simulates the way we breathe when we are asleep. tricking your brain into thinking you’re in sleep mode,
DO visualization along with your breathing exercise. Picture a 10×12 white wall, no pictures, no window, just a wall. Push all of your thoughts out of your mind and off the wall as you breath out. And concentrate on that wall. Let Aunt Bea’s lumpy mashed potatoes fade away. Let the cat’s penchant for relieving itself in your house slipper fade into the distance. Let your ex’s penchant for relieving their stress in your direction exit with the dirty slipper.
After all that, you have your fan turned on, you’ve written your problems down, you’ve eaten your two cookies (okay, if they’re chocolate chip, you can have three!) You’ve done your breathing and visualization exercise. You’ve launched your shoe, Bush style, at the dog out back, your soulmate stopped the snoring for a few minutes, and you STILL can’t sleep.
THEN start thinking about some sleep insomnia treatments. Melatonin is found in poultry, especially turkey. It works on a high percentage of people, but not everyone. It can be obtained by eating turkey for dinner. and it can be obtained in supplement form over the counter. Studies have shown it really works on most people. You can go here now to purchase it.
CBD oil and Hemp oil also have sleep inducing effects, both can be used on a daily basis, or taken 20-30 minutes before bedtime on nights when you feel a little restless. Or even during the day for that matter when you need a little extra stress relief, pump a little of one or the other.
Other over the counter drugs include ZZZquil. According to the Vicks company website, it is recommended that you take ZzzQuil when you have adequate time to get a full night’s sleep (about eight hours). ZzzQuil should only be used for occasional sleeplessness. Stop use and ask a doctor if sleeplessness persists continuously for more than two weeks.
Also Unisom. Per the Unisom website, You can take Unisom® about 30 minutes before bedtime. The sedative action of Unisom® may last up to 6 hours. Unisom®, non-prescription sleeping pills, should only be used to relieve occasional sleeplessness. If your sleeplessness lasts for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor.
As always check with your doctor before trying the recommendations outlined here, as well as the OTC medications for interactions with your prescriptions, or any other medical issues you may have.