#FITFABFEB2020 Health & Wellness

Making Sleep Care a priority in your Self Care Plan

February 15, 2021
Sleep

Self-care has been a buzz word for quite some time now and I regularly write about the importance of making time for Self a priority. Self-Care stories is the prompt for #lifethisweek over at Denyse Whelan Blog .

When I think of Self-Care and what should be on my priority list one area that came to mind and which many of us struggle with is SLEEP. We probably don’t put that at the top of the Self-care list but getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to our health as eating well, moving more and staying hydrated.

You need sleep so your mind and body can function.

How do you sleep? Do you sleep deeply or do you toss and turn and wake up feeling just as tired as when you went to bed?

61% of women who are post menopausal experience frequent bouts of insomnia

On average, around 12 percent of women experience sleep complaints. As women age into their late 40s to early 50s, that number increases dramatically to 40 percent. Sleep issues become more common and worsen during perimenopause to postmenopause, when women report the most sleep problems.

Healthline – Is there a connection between menopause and insomnia?

Issues resulting from poor sleep

  • Increase in memory and attention problems
  • Greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic illness. Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and affects your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart.
  • Our mood is affected if we are tired we feel sluggish, irritable and even depressed

How to get a good night’s sleep

I don’t sleep well, and have never slept well throughout my life. It is definitely an area of my life that I really struggle with. So I would be interested to hear any tips you might have for a good night’s sleep.

In the meantime, I found this video with 13 science backed tips to fall and stay asleep which I wanted to share with you.

Further reading:

Sleep-Deprivation the affects on your body

Calm – The #1 App for Meditation and Sleep

Women Living Well After 50

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26 Comments

  • Reply Judith Pratt-Jefferies February 15, 2021 at 07:42

    Getting adequate sleep is #1 for me. I find that having some quiet time before I go to bed is essential, no TV, for an hour before bed time, no starting of a new project, and a shower early in the evening. I get up at 5 AM so I set up my morning journal on my desk so it is a welcoming sight along with the most recent photo of my great grandson.. And I fall asleep easily if I do some deep breathing for a few moments when I get into bed. Thanks for the other tips. Always enjoy your blogs.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:45

      What a lovely way to wake with a recent photo of your great grandson, Judith. They are special aren’t they? I know I don’t get adequate sleep and I haven’t tried a shower in the early evening this might help with the wind down process. Thanks for the comment and enjoy your weekend. x

  • Reply Jody @ Six Little Hearts February 15, 2021 at 07:58

    I have never been a great sleeper. True, even when I was very young. I have been taking Vitamin B lately which has given me more energy by day and l seem to sleep better as a result.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:46

      Hi Jody, thanks for the Vitamin B tip I might give that a try. Enjoy your weekend. x

  • Reply Vanessa February 15, 2021 at 08:15

    I’m usually a great sleeper but getting over a virus has given me bumps in the road the past few weeks – and I am acutely unpleasant person to be around when my sleep is lacking!! I hope it goes away because I miss sleep.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:47

      Hi Vanessa, from the comments I see I’m not alone when it comes to sleeping. I’m sorry to hear about the virus and hope you are feeling better soon. Being ill certainly doesn’t help sleep either. Take care. x

  • Reply Donna Connolly February 15, 2021 at 08:54

    Hi, Sue – Despite the fact that I do most things that you are not supposed to do (like have a coffee in the evenings, use my computer right prior to bedtime, and use my bed for reading, writing, phone calls, etc.), I’m usually a fairly sound sleeper. On the rare occasion that I don’t sleep well, I am sluggish and cranky the entire next day. One thing that works well for me is that I always wear a (silk) eyemask to bed. I can sleep through most sounds….but any light at all tends to wake me up and disturb my sleep.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:47

      Hi Donna ooh a silk eyemask sounds so pampering. I’ve never thought of wearing an eyemask to bed but I’ll try anything for a good night’s sleep! Thanks for the tip. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 15, 2021 at 09:13

    I do most of those things – except the skipping alcohol. My sleep has gotten a little disrupted, I think cos of menopause. It’s causing a few problems….Will work on it a little longer…but big fan of the lavender sleep sprays and the sleepytime tea

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:48

      Hi Lydia, menopause certainly can affect our sleep especially with hot flashes during the night. I do like the idea of a lavender sleep spray so will look at getting some to try. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Natalie February 15, 2021 at 09:25

    Hi Sue, Sleep is important for our cells to recover. I sleep well most nights. I do deep breathing which works for me. Plus I’m active during the day so by the time I go to bed, I’m ready for a good rest. #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:49

      Hi Natalie, you would think that with all the exercise I do, I would sleep like a log but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. You are right about the importance of sleep and recovery. Enjoy your weekend. x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle February 15, 2021 at 10:17

    Hi Sue, those are great tips in that video. I know that sleep is SO important for our health and wellbeing at all levels. My sleep patterns have certainly changed as I’ve gotten older. I go to bed earlier than I used to (I used to be a night owl) and I wake way earlier than used to, In fact that is where my problem is lately – waking too early. I mostly seem to sleep soundly while I’m asleep though but I have the odd patches where I have trouble falling asleep. Have a great week! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:54

      Hi Min I’m usually in bed by 9pm and am an early riser. I probably get more sleep than I realise but I still do have days when I would love to just fall into a deep sleep for hours. Have a lovely holiday x

  • Reply Christina Henry February 15, 2021 at 12:33

    Hi Sue, I have suffered insomnia my whole life, even in my teens. I’m on one of the strongest medications there is for insomnia and it still doesn’t always work. I have tried most of the suggestions in the video and they work to some degree, but my insomnia is a medical condition. Having said that, I have found that my sleeping patterns have improved since I stopped doing shift work. My Fitbit tracks my sleeping patterns and they have improved. Going to bed at about the same time every night is definitely helpful, regards Christina

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:50

      Hi Christina, many of us have suffered insommnia for most of our lives. This makes me feel not quite so alone but it isn’t good is it? Shift work would certainly interrupt your sleep patterns that is for sure. x

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au February 15, 2021 at 13:23

    Sleep is a big one for me too Sue – I sleep a lot more lightly than I used to and with the whole hot flash thing that I live with now, I wake even more. Add in a snoring husband and my sleep was pretty much wrecked. I took a sleeping pill for a few years and that helped, but it’s not how I wanted to continue on into the future. Since stopping work, I’ve allowed myself to wake naturally (goodbye alarm clock) and that helps me catch up if I’ve been awake during the night. I’m also finding that having a spare bedroom to move off into when needed also helps me get a decent chunk of sleep hours too (I’m very poor company when I’ve slept poorly for more than one night!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:55

      Hi Leanne, I definitely am a light sleeper and have always been this way. I take a sleeping pill if I really have to but try to stay as natural as possible. I don’t think anyone is good company when they are tired. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris February 16, 2021 at 07:40

    Hi Sue, I have to say, and I hope i don’t jinx myself by doing so, that sleep has never been a problem for me. I tend to go to bed at roughly the same time each night and wake naturally at a decent hour. At the moment the birds are very noisy at daybreak and help me wake up. I rarely sleep during the day but when I do, I know I needed it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:57

      Hi Deb, I’d love a good long sleep and even if I’m tired I can’t sleep during the day. Yes those pesky early morning birds and the summer sunrises can certainly wake you up early. x

  • Reply Erica/Erika February 16, 2021 at 10:03

    Sleep is an excellent topic, Sue, and as you point out, a huge issue for many people. I have struggled with sleep since I was a child. In many ways, I believe it is how some of us are wired. And, it gets worse with time. I recall overhearing a conversation before a yoga class. Two ladies discussing difficulty with sleep and one mentioned how sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. Hmmm, I get it. Great points in the video.xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:58

      Hi Erica, like you I’ve always struggled with sleep and I think I just accept that that is the way I am. Glad you liked the video. xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan February 17, 2021 at 15:50

    Sleep is so needed and don’t we all know it when we don’t get enough. I hear you on the effects of insomnia. Some nights I go to sleep pretty easily. I often do my meditation from Calm as I am trying to settle for the night, and I do have some drowsiness from my evening anti-depressant. However, on nights this sleep pattern does not come easily I no longer get cranky about it but instead I keep the room dark – no ipad/phone use – and I pop on a sleep story or an audible book. I find words rather than music gets me sleeping. Oh, and for many years now, due to my husband’s various illnesses which can disturb his sleep and mine, we have separate bedrooms. It works!

    Thank you so much for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week, the optional prompt is
    8/51 Explore. 22 Feb. I hope to see you there and I wish you well for the week ahead. Denyse. #lifethisweek #linkup #Mondays https://www.denysewhelan.com.au

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:59

      I’m pretty accepting of my sleep patterns Denyse. I’ve always struggled to sleep well from childhood. The Calm app is a good idea so I need to make that part of my nightly ritual. x

  • Reply Deborah Cook February 17, 2021 at 15:55

    I’ve also struggled with sleep since I was a child. For much of my life I’ve laid there stressed that I’m still awake, my mind buzzing with thoughts, feelings etc.

    But about 4-5 years ago my GP gave me sleeping medication. I think it was going to be temporary but I have it every night and I really have no issue with taking it because I know that getting a good sleep (as you say) is soooo important.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2021 at 09:59

      Hi Deb, I will resort to medication if I have to and yes, you feel like you’ve certainly had a good sleep the next morning. We do what we need to do, don’t we? x

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