Getting enough sleep has never been so important, yet study after study shows that women - especially those of us going through perimenopause and menopause - aren't getting enough sleep. Anyone who's had sleep issues knows that lack of sleep can lead to not only feeling tired, but also overeating, irritability, loss of concentration and even a weakened immune system, which is so important during this pandemic and could even impact your response to the Covid-19 vaccine.
This is National Sleep Awareness Week, and we want to give you tips on how you can improve your sleep.
Studies have indicated that not getting enough sleep before and after a vaccination can result in less immune response and may potentially affect vaccine protection, according to the National Sleep Foundation says prioritizing good sleep - especially as we age. How much sleep do you need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours for adults and 7-8 hours for adults over 65.
Here are some tips:
- Create a sleep routine that helps you wind down, including reading a book, listening to calming music, taking a warm bath.
- Speaking of routine, to improve your sleep, it's best to go to bed about the same time each night, and wake up each morning. As much as it feels like a luxury to sleep in on the weekends, to try to catch up, this can actually work against you.
- Your surroundings matter, too. Create a calming environment for sleep. This means not watching TV in bed, putting away your phone and laptop at least an hour before bedtime. Other sleep tips include making your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep and relaxation. If your bedroom is cluttered, or you have piles of clothes on the floor, this can make you feel stressed, and may not even realize it. Use dark out window coverings, and if your room is located near a busy street, consider a noise machine, soft music or even ear plugs to help drown out noises.
- Get some exercise. While high-impact exercise before bed could prevent you from sleeping, some low-impact exercise, such as walking, yoga or swimming is not only great for your overall health, but it can help you get a better night's sleep.
- Be mindful of what you are eating and drinking. Avoid caffeine late in the day or sugary treats before bedtime.
- What you wear matters, too! Wear cool, comfortable pajamas or sleep in the nude to help you sleep through the night. (See what women are saying about sleep improvements from their PJs.) You spend - or at least should be spending - seven hours a night or more in bed. Wear something that helps you feel cool and cozy, and use sheets and blankets that provide you with the same kind of comfort. Not only are you worth it, but your health may depend on it!