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sleep underpins health melinda tickel
Why sleep underpins health for women over 40

There are many aspects of our daily habits that help us to become the healthiest and happiest version of ourselves. Nurturing a good night's sleep helps to underpin our health and wellbeing with psychological and physical benefits. This has never been more relevant for women approaching perimenopause and menopause.

Sleep underpins health for women over 40. According to The Oxford Dictionary, sleep hygiene is defined as a series of 'habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis'.

Do you have a sleep routine in practice every day?

The amount of sleep you need will be individual to you. However, the average amount of sleep needed for an adult is 7 hours. That could mean falling asleep at 11pm and waking at 6am. You need to decide what is best for you, and this may vary from day to day.  Regardless of the time at which you go to sleep, you need to allow for your natural melatonin to kick in, and that starts with sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene will include turning off the TV and/or putting your phone/iPad/computer on charge, away from you, an hour before going to bed. It is important to move away from any sources of blue light. Blue light from screens can turn off or reduce your body’s natural production of melatonin in the brain and can negatively affect sleep quality.

Spend the hour before bed winding down. Do anything that does not involve looking at light from a blue screen (Kindle paperwhite is an exception, as it does not radiate blue light.) This could be tidying up, doing some gentle stretching, showering, reading, writing your journal (with a paper and pen), putting your clothes out for the next day, checking the weather for the following day, and so on.

Just before lights out, make sure your room has some air running through it and is cool if possible. The best time for lights out will depend on what time you need to wake and how much sleep you feel you need.

When your sleep hygiene is better, then your quality of sleep and life will improve dramatically.  It’s amazing. I have to resist my natural urge to stay up late as I know the negative knock-on effect this can have the following day. Obviously there are exceptions, but for the most part, try to keep to the following sleep hygiene guidelines:

  • Turn off your devices about an hour before you plan to sleep
  • Spend the hour winding down and don’t look at your phone, computer or iPad. TV can also affect people, so if you feel this is you, step away from that as well.
  • Make sure your room is pitch black
  • Ensure you have some air running through your room
  • Make sure you are comfortable in terms of your bed linen and clothing.
  • I’m Mel and the author here on the blog.

  • I help women with grey hair thrive with beauty and lifestyle tips that inspire self care and confidence.

  • Wife, mum of 3, author, hair and make-up artist and lifestyle mentor for women who choose to embrace their grey hair.

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