“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” – W. C. Fields
Sleep is a critical yet often under-appreciated part of anti-aging. During sleep, the body restores and repairs itself. The better the quality, the better the restoration and the repair job.
There are many things you can do to maximise the quality of sleep. Two of the most important are your sleeping environment and your daily habits.
Make the bedroom your sleeping room… literally. Ditch the TV and the computer. Use it for sleeping or to wind down for slumber.
Invest in a good quality bed.
Make the room as dark as possible. Even the tiniest amount of light signals your pineal gland it’s time to wake up. If you have a digital clock, use one with red digits, not blue, green, or white. I often use a sleeping mask which is awesome.
Keep the room temperature cool… 60 – 68° F (15 – 20° C).
Eliminate clutter. It’s amazing how much better you’ll sleep in a neat, clean space.
Be consistent with your bedtime hours… try to retire and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
Stop eating at least three hours before bedtime. Your body needs to repair, not digest. This is an essential habit for weight management to boot!
No caffeine after 12 noon, or three, or whatever time you know is right for you. Same with alcohol.
Daily exercise will really help with sleeping… just don’t do it an hour or two before bedtime.
Avoid the bright lights of a TV or computer an hour or so before bedtime. That final hour is time to wind down.
As you age, you produce less melatonin, your natural sleep hormone. You may want to try supplementing with 1 – 2 mg every night or two to encourage a more restful sleep.
Sleep is like most things in life: to do it well, you need to develop good, consistent habits. The rewards of incorporating some of the habits above are definitely worth it.