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3 Nighttime Habits For Better Sleep Over 50, According To Doctors: Relaxation, Bedtime, And More

By Faith Geiger,


Struggling to fall asleep is always frustrating, but it can become especially difficult as you age. As we get older, our body’s natural melatonin production slows, and the other changes in hormones that women experience during menopause can also make it harder for you to get a restful sleep each night. Luckily, though, all hope is not lost; you may just need to put some extra effort into your nighttime routine. With the right habits, you’ll be well on your way to better sleep throughout the night.

To discover some of the best nighttime habits you can implement for better sleep over 50, we spoke to Dr. Chris Winter . He told us that following a consistent sleep schedule, relaxing before bed, and meditating are all steps you can take starting tonight. Learn more below!


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1. Follow a sleep schedule

One of the most important parts of consistently getting a good night’s sleep is sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. “This will help you maximize deep sleep, which in turn maximizes growth hormone secretion that keeps you youthful,” Dr. Winter explains, advising that you get up and go to sleep at the same time each day.

“Timing is key to achieving your best rest,” he goes on. “You don't need to be obsessive about it, but gradually start establishing regular wake-up times and bedtimes.” Additionally, it’s important not to rely on sleeping in or napping during the day to make up for difficult nights of sleep. “That will only lead to making it harder and harder to fall asleep at night,” he warns.

2. Do something relaxing and joyful before bed

In addition to going to sleep at the same time each night, pinning down a great wind-down routine is another helpful habit when it comes to sleeping well. After all, it can be extremely difficult to sleep with a cluttered mind–which is why incorporating joyful, relaxing activities into your nighttime routine can do wonders. “Things like doing relaxing yoga, taking a warm shower, reading feel-good books, and listening to calm music or sounds can help your mind disengage and allow you to settle down,” Dr. Winter tells us. He also says you should “eliminate sleeping pills and/or alcohol from your nighttime routine and instead start your day with exercise.” Got it!

3. Meditate in bed

One of the most relaxing activities you can add to your wind-down routine is some meditation. This can be especially helpful when you find yourself lying in bed and unable to fall asleep. “When all else fails, don't be afraid to rest and meditate in bed,” Dr. Winter says. “Stop judging your success in bed by unconsciousness alone. Sometimes the secret to amazing sleep is learning to embrace your time awake in bed. Enjoying the calm, quiet time nestled under the covers can help you relax enough to fall asleep.” We love that perspective! Overall, he says you shouldn’t treat your time spent awake in bed as a problem that needs to be solved: “Learning to enjoy being in bed makes most sleep problems instantly disappear.”

Of course, if you’re struggling consistently with insomnia for an extended period of time, your best bet is always to speak to a doctor and get down to the bottom of your personal issues and figure out the solution. However, trying out these tips definitely won’t hurt; incorporating these habits into your nightly routine will get you one step closer to the sleep of your dreams (literally).

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