Attention 40-49 year olds: here’s how to sleep better

Understanding the impact of stress on your sleep patterns, plus three simple steps for getting more rest.

When it comes to sleep, there are many reasons why you should make it a priority – especially if you are in your 40s.

Put simply, without enough sleep your mood and concentration can suffer – but more seriously, lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and even premature death, as outlined the Australian Government Healthdirect.

To explore the reasons why people aged 40 to 49 in particular battle with a lack of sleep, Allied Wellness interviewed Dr Linda Wilson, author of Stress Made Easy – Peeling Women off the Ceiling and corporate health and wellness consultant.

AW: What are some common reasons why people of this age have sleep difficulties? 

LW: One of the reasons for poor sleep – regardless of age – is stress. But, some of the most common reasons for stress within the 40 to 49 year age bracket fall into four main categories:

  • Finances
  • Career
  • Relationship or
  • Family issues.

These are the areas of our life in which we may experience multiple transitions and change is something we can struggle with. Sometimes these transitions are perceived to put other areas of our life at risk. For example, the loss of a job creates financial pressure and this impacts on all areas of our life. It is completely normal for our sleep to suffer when we are going through a change that is emotionally upsetting or unexpected.

AW: Why is sleep particularly important for people of this age?

LW: This time in our lives is subject to lots of change, transition and even volatility, which mean good quality sleep must be a priority. Lack of sleep impacts our health physically and emotionally. When we are well rested our bodies have had the opportunity to repair and relax. Our immune system has had the opportunity to kick into gear and keep us well. Our endocrine system is under less stress and therefore we are more balanced emotionally. To manage life well we need to be rested.

AW: What are three steps to improve sleep during times of stress?

LW:
1. Stay hydrated and get some exercise every day. Hydration allows our body to flush out toxins that can build up during times of stress. Exercise is one way we can process stress out of our mind and body. It doesn’t have to be a marathon either. A 30-minute walk will do wonders especially if it is out in nature.

2. Give yourself plenty of time away from technology before you go to bed. The blue light from our laptops, tablets and mobile phones is a stimulating light which activates our brains so it’s not conducive to rest and good quality sleep.

3. Get into a relaxation routine before bed. Our bodies respond well to healthy habits that signal our readiness for rest. This might include listening to relaxation music, meditating or reading. If you have children you will know the importance of establishing a routine to help them sleep well. Age does not change the fundamental requirements for signalling to our mind and body that we are preparing for sleep.

AW: How important is support?

LW: During stressful times get support. We often think we should be able to manage all the changes or stressful periods of our life on our own. This is not the case. Sometimes learning new techniques to help us manage our stress or talking through our situation with a qualified professional or good friend helps us process some of the negative impacts of stress that impacts on our sleep. There are many different ways to foster a calm and rested mind. Find out what works for you and sweet dreams!

Allied Wellness Pty Ltd
PO Box 962, Berwick Vic 3806
E: info@alliedwellness.com.au
www.alliedwellness.com.au

IMPORTANT: The information on this website does not replace a face-to-face relationship with your medical professional or healthcare practitioner. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided in this website.