“I slept like a baby last night. I woke up every 2 hours and cried.”Source: Every Baby Boomer I Know
In this article, we’ll look at the subject of sleep and answer some common questions Baby Boomers have as their sleep patterns change. We’ll also offer some suggestions for overcoming sleep issues you might be facing.
I can’t remember a time in my life when sleep hasn’t been an issue for me but as I got a little older, as with many of my peers, the problem became more pronounced. I can usually fall asleep pretty quickly – 15 minutes max. But with few exceptions, I wake up two or three hours later and find it very difficult, if not impossible, to get back to sleep. I normally end up getting 4-5 hours each night. And I’m not alone. Nearly 60% of Baby Boomers struggle to get enough sleep. Chances are good that includes you.
According to SleepEducation.org, adults need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night. This becomes a challenge for us as we get older. Sometimes this is a result of normal changes to our circadian rhythms which cause us to want to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. But often, the reasons are more serious like sleep apnea, insomnia, or side effects from medication.
Whatever the cause, the struggle to sleep can become maddening.
Over-the-counter sleep aids are usually the first thing we try when we can’t sleep, but with most of them, you can expect to wake up groggy, spaced out, and unfocused. And then there are the prescription sleep meds. They’re even worse, plus you can become addicted to them and they can have some terrible side-effects.
So, what’s the solution?
We’ve put together some suggestions to help you improve your sleep situation. We have some great sleep products to recommend and we’ll tell you about some things you can do to improve your body’s ability to fall and stay asleep.
Let’s start with a few sleep products and then we’ll dig deep into the subject of sleep and how aging adults experience and solve sleep issues.
Slumber CBN (cannabinol) helps support your body’s ability to fall and stay asleep. On top of that, it helps reduce the stress and anxiety that often go along with sleep issues.
CBN, the main ingredient in Slumber, has become known as the “Sleepy Cannabinoid.” It is derived from “hemp” not “marijuana” so, as with it’s more well-known cousin CBD, it’s legal to purchase it online in the US. But unlike CBD, CBN will actually put you to sleep!
In it’s widely quoted research, Steep Hill reported, “The consumption of 2.5mg to 5mg of CBN has the same level of sedation as a mild pharmaceutical sedative, with a relaxed body sensation similar to 5mg to 10mg of diazepam (Valium).”
Although Slumber is a cannabis product, it is free of THC (the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effect), and it will not make you feel “high”.
You can buy Slumber two ways – in a tincture or as soft gel tablets.
Save 15% when you order and use this discount code at checkout: CBN4SLEEP
Get Free Shipping – Get free shipping on all orders of $75 or more
Crash and Reboot
If you struggle to fall asleep, it’s probably because you can’t quiet your mind. How’d you like some help with that?
Crash & Reboot was developed to help solve the two most common sleep issues – falling asleep and staying asleep. To do this, it targets multiple brain pathways to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and help your brain and body recover so you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Bright Brain’s Crash & Reboot supports:
- Falling asleep faster
- Staying Asleep
- Mental Recovery
- Restorative rest
- Alleviate stress and anxiety
The following quote from the Lumultra website makes an important point about how important sleep is as we age:
“Scientists have found evidence that the less adults sleep, the faster their brains age and that sleep problems were positively linked to declining memory and executive function in older people.”
As Boomers, our brains are aging and becoming less efficient. It’s normal and to be expected but there are things we can do to slow that down – getting better sleep is one of them.
The LumUltra Luna Formula Was Developed to Help You:
- Fall Asleep Faster
- Get Longer Periods of Deep Quality Sleep
- Wake Up Clear Headed
- Improve Cognitive Function
- More Quality Sleep Helps Protect Memories
Save 10% when you order and use this discount code at checkout: SAS10P
Why Is Sleep Important For Boomers?
Sleep is a time for the body to rest and rejuvenate itself. During sleep, your body completes vital physiological functions such as tissue repair, hormone production, and laying down new neural pathways. The amount of sleep one needs changes throughout their life.
It is recommended that even older adults get around seven to nine hours of sleep a night, while young children need considerably more than this to aid their growth and development.
It is important for people of all ages to pay attention to their sleeping habits but especially Baby Boomers. This is because of several age-related sleep changes that pose additional challenges to getting adequate sleep every day.
You may find that you get tired earlier in the evening, or you experience early morning waking. Frustratingly, you may wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself unable to go back to sleep.
The amount of deep sleep one gets as they age also declines, which can reduce the overall quality of sleep they can get. All of these changes can result in poor sleep, and this, in turn, can cause a range of issues.
Normal Age-Related Sleep Changes vs. Sleeping Disorders
It is important to know the difference between normal age-related changes to sleep and changes that may indicate an underlying disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea.
Symptoms that may indicate a sleeping disorder include:
- Taking an excessive amount of time to fall asleep
- Waking up multiple times during the night
- Unusual feelings in your legs like tingling or crawling
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a physician to help optimize your sleep and overall health condition.
In addition to the physiological changes seniors experience, other factors contribute to the poor sleep many seniors suffer from. They are also more likely to have other chronic conditions that can flare up when the body is stressed, for example, if they are running on little sleep.
For many of these conditions, they will be prescribed a number of drugs, each with a substantial side effect profile. Coupled together, these factors can further hinder the quality of sleep seniors get while also increasing the body’s need for good sleep.
What Issues Can a Lack of Sleep Cause?
Given the central role sleep has in a person’s health and wellbeing, the issues caused by a lack of sleep are vast. Poor sleep can lead to mental or physical issues and be long or short term.
The most obvious issue caused by lack of sleep is the daytime fatigue, irritability, and poor focus that often follows the very next day.
If getting inadequate sleep is a one-off event, then the issues don’t usually extend beyond a bad day of feeling rundown. You can often remedy this by taking a nap or ensuring you go to bed early that night. But, if it continues, the mental health effects can worsen. You may start to experience brain fog, reduced attention span, and impaired executive function.
And your mood is likely to suffer further; the persistent irritability may harm your relationships and impair your ability to complete daily activities, so you may start to feel low.
Prolonged inadequate sleep increases the risk of several serious physical health conditions. These include obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, potentially exacerbating any existing medical conditions a Boomer may already be suffering from.
This applies to both mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical, like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and liver disease.
The Benefits of Consistently Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
There are countless benefits to getting good quality sleep consistently. They range from improved cognitive performance to better mood to increased protection from serious medical conditions like heart disease and autoimmune conditions.
Sleep can massively improve a person’s ability to focus, learn, and be productive. Supporting research has uncovered the pivotal role of sleep in memory consolidation, which is essential for learning new information. Additionally, sleeping patterns have been shown to directly affect academic performance and social behaviors.
As mentioned previously, a lack of sleep often makes a person irritable and tired the next day. If this continues, it can interfere with everyday life and relationships resulting in sadness or depression. Therefore, getting good quality sleep means you can lead a happier, healthier life full of meaningful relationships with the people you love. This can be especially important for Boomers, as it is often more difficult to make friends as you age.
Better Calorie Regulation
Your sleep quality directly impacts your body’s ability to regulate food intake and maintain a healthy weight. There is an increased chance of weight gain if you are consistently failing to get sufficient sleep. Scientists believe this may be due to dysfunctional levels of chemicals, specifically leptin and ghrelin.
They have suggested that the lower levels of leptin (which makes you feel full) and higher levels of ghrelin (which makes you feel hungry) may be partially responsible. So, by sleeping well, your body can regulate and release the necessary amount of chemicals to maintain a healthy weight.
Protection From Cardiovascular Diseases
Good sleep helps protect Baby Boomers and other adults against heart disease via several mechanisms. Getting adequate sleep allows your body to regulate your blood pressure, which, if high, becomes a risk factor for developing heart disease. Long-term sleep deprivation also seems to be associated with increased heart rate and inflammation, which further strains the heart.
Healthier Immune system
One of the primary purposes of sleep is to facilitate recovery and repair of the body, including the immune system. Good sleep is good for your immune system, which means you are better equipped to fight off infections.
Sleep deprivation is associated with increased inflammation, which can either aggravate existing conditions or put you at risk of developing an illness.
In addition to adhering to your physician’s treatment plan and prescribed medication, sleep well, and help keep those conditions under control. And, you’ll also have the added benefit of lowering your risk of developing other diseases too.
How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Improve Your “Sleep Hygiene”
Sleep hygiene refers to habits that help to enhance the quality of sleep you get. A person may have good or bad sleep hygiene. Things like excessive screen time just before bed or using your bed as a workspace contribute to poor sleep hygiene and negatively impact the quantity and quality of sleep you get.
Encourage Better Sleep
Melatonin is a key sleep hormone and it’s produced naturally in your body. You can help boost your levels of melatonin by increasing your exposure to natural light and limiting your exposure to artificial light. You can do this by limiting screen time when bedtime nears, around an hour or so before.
Ensure your bed is comfortable and that your room is calm and relaxed. This is especially important for Boomers since sensitivity to noise and other sensory stimuli increases with age.
Develop a Bedtime Routine
Developing a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps with your internal body clock regulation.
You can also try some relaxing bedtime rituals such as taking a bath, listening to some soothing music, or meditating.
Try Blu-light Blocking Glasses
Since many of us Boomers enjoy using our phones, tablets and tv’s in the evening – one way we can minimize their sleep-interfering effects is to use a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. We love these cool looking blue light blocker glasses available with and without magnification.
Lifestyle Changes to Aid Better Sleep
Your diet can massively affect the amount and quality of sleep you get, so limit your intake of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. Many find that a warm glass of milk or some yogurt staves off feelings of hunger while not being too heavy a meal to hinder sleep. Also, being mindful of liquid intake can help you get a restful night’s sleep because you will not have to keep getting up to go to use the bathroom.
Getting some exercise will help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and improve the quality of your sleep in general. Try adding 10 minutes of aerobic exercise to your day. Before bed is fine as long as it doesn’t get you too wound up but if it does, try exercising a couple of hours before bedtime.
In addition to the habits that help with improving sleep quality, there are numerous natural sleep remedies you can try if you want to optimize your sleep further.
Cannabinol aka CBN
Cannabinol (CBN) is becoming available as a sleep, stress and anxiety supplement. It is a mildly psychoactive chemical compound found in trace amounts in cannabis. Studies have demonstrated its sedative effects and found them comparable to benzodiazepines, which are drugs prescribed for sedation, and insomnia on a short-term basis.
Cannabidiol aka CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another compound also found in the cannabis plant. Studies have suggested that it can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and help you to stay asleep. It has also been shown to promote wakefulness and reduce grogginess in both animals and humans.
There are various preparations of CBN and CBD that can be used to help with sleep, among many other ailments. They can be taken sublingually as an oil, ingested as a pill, consumed as an edible gummy, or applied as an ointment.
Sleep Supporting Herbs
An herb native to Asia and Europe, Valerian root has been used to help with insomnia and depression for ages. It is often taken as a dietary supplement and is thought to increase levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This contributes to the calming effects Valerian root has on the body.
Renowned for its aromatic and relaxing scent, Lavender can be used in multiple forms to reap its benefits. Brew yourself some lavender-infused tea to drink before bed, soak in the bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil, or use a lavender pillow spray to encourage better sleep. Similarly to Valerian root, its relaxing effects are thought to be related to GABA action.
Classically taken as a tea to help with relaxation, its soothing effects are thought to be related to the antioxidant apigenin’s presence. This binds to receptors in your brain and helps ease anxiety and induce sleep.