Dear Mrs. R – An Advice Series for Women of All Ages
I am so excited to bring you another installment of Dear Mrs. R. I truly value all of my readers and your support has been amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
In an effort to protect my readers privacy, I will refer to only a First Name and Last Initial when posting to Dear Mrs. R. So, please do not worry about your confidentiality as it will be protected. That’s my promise to you! Also, I will not publish any question without the express permission of my readers.
This week I chose a question from Cathy P. Cathy asks:
Dear Mrs. R, I have been following your blog for quite sometime and love what you are doing for us Midlife women. I wanted to thank you for all you do as it seems when it comes to blogs us Midlifers kinda get the short end of the stick. I really can’t look at another Mommy blog I’ve been there done that.
Anyway, I wanted to shoot you a question that you may be able to help me with. I have recently retired from a 35 year civil servant position and I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new found freedom. I feel like a lost puppy! I haven’t quite figured out what to do with all this time on my hands! The thing I have noticed most is I have started suffering from insomnia since I’ve retired and I just can’t seem to get on a good schedule. What do you suggest to help me sleep again? I’m dying over hear staying up nights at a time. I know that if I was sleeping better I would feel better. Anything you can suggest would be so appreciated. Thank you so much for taking time out for my question!
Oh goodness! Have I been down the insomnia rabbit hole? You bet I have!
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend and personally use myself
I can really relate to your question because the same thing happened to me when I retired from a 30 year law career. After sticking to the same sleep schedule for 35 years (in your case) and all of a sudden you find you can sleep in or stay up late without the worry of work obligations does mess up your circadian rhythm.
However, insomnia isn’t a normal part of the aging process. It usually presents itself with underlying causes. Here are a few things that can contribute to insomnia:
- Bad Habits such as caffeine, alcohol and smoking
- Certain Medications can cause lack of sleep and develop into full blown insomnia
- Lack of Exercise
- Poor Diet
- Your Sleeping Environment can also be a factor
- Stress, Anxiety and Worry especially before going to sleep
If any of the above pertain to you I suggest:
- Eliminate alcohol and smoking entirely from your lifestyle
- Determine a favorable wake up time and bedtime. Stick to it religiously so that your body gets into your new circadian rhythm
- Do not drink caffeinated beverages after 2:00pm
- If you suspect any medications being a factor then it’s very important that you contact your healthcare provider to discuss other options
- Start a low stress exercise regimen such as yoga or simply take a nice long walk. However, make sure you do not exercise approximately 2 hours before bedtime as this stimulates the brain and keeps you awake
- Eat a healthy diet of whole foods. Make sure you include plenty of good proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits. There are tons of healthy recipes here
- Make sure the temperature in your bedroom is chilly. There are sleep studies that show if you sleep in a chilly environment you are far more likely to have a better quality of sleep
- If you sleep with a pet or heavy snorer you may want to move to a separate room until such time as you are on a better sleeping schedule and feel that you are getting a better quality of sleep
- Begin meditating before bedtime to relax your mind and ease it of the day’s stress, worry and anxiety
- There are two supplements that I highly suggest; according to the University of Maryland Medical Center magnesium deficiency can contribute to insomnia so I suggest taking a magnesium supplement daily. Again, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center “A few clinical studies suggest that, melatonin when taken for short periods of time (days to weeks), is more effective than a placebo in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, increasing the number of sleeping hours, and boosting daytime alertness. It is not clear how well melatonin works, however. Some studies suggest that it only reduces the amount of time to fall asleep by a few minutes.”
I hope my suggestions help you get back on track and sleeping well, my dear friend! xo
If you have a question you would like me to address, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my very best to give you a well researched answer and hopefully together we can come up with a solution. There are no questions too big or too small!
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See you in the comments,