As we age, it’s very normal to experience changes in sleep patterns. However, disturbed sleep, waking up tired everyday, and other insomnia symptoms are not a normal aspect of aging. Beauty sleep is as important when you’re over age 50 as it is when you’re younger. In fact, insomnia or not getting enough sleep, increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight problems, and breast cancer. Not to mention that it ages you from the inside out. Insufficient sleep can make you look older than you are, so getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is crucial.
Are you suffering from insomnia or sleeping problems? Here’s how to take control:
1. Exercise regularly.
Getting regular exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood, reduce anxiety and stress, and tire you out. Feeling both relaxed and tired at bedtime promotes good quality sleep.
2. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Too much caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine is bad for your skin. It dehydrates you and makes you look unhealthy. They’re also stimulants that disrupt your sleep at night. Although alcohol is at first a depressant, once your liver brings your blood alcohol level back to normal, it creates a rebound effect, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night.
3. Boost melatonin levels naturally.
Melatonin is the sleep inducing hormone, and if you’re not getting enough of it, your sleep/wake cycles are impacted. It’s important to regulate your melatonin levels for both your waking and sleeping periods. Doing so, will ensure a good night’s rest. Reduce melatonin during your waking hours by exposing yourself to sunlight during the day. Keep curtains and shades open and step outside. Boost melatonin at night by limiting exposure to light including artificial light from the television, laptops, iPads, or backlit reading devices.
4. Hide your clock.
Worrying about not getting enough sleep just makes the problem worse. Hide your clock so you’re not obsessing about the time in the middle of the night.
5. Minimize liquid intake.
While it’s important to drink enough water, if you’re sipping on liquids before bed, you’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night. Stop drinking liquids at least 2 hours before bedtime.
When all else fails, how to eliminate under eye bags:
Sometimes you just can’t sleep and as long as it’s not a regular phenomenon, it’s not the end of the world. Even if you’re a few hours short on sleep, you can take steps to hide bags under eyes.
-Cold cucumber slices, cooled tea bags, and cooled spoons can all reduce under eye bags.
-Topical eye creams with witch hazel and niacinamide are also effective. Witch hazel is a natural astringent, its tannins help reduce dark circles under eyes, puffiness and swelling and niacinamide is a unique form of Vitamin B3 that is an effective skin-lightening compound. It’s also good for aging skin.
Sara Novak is a Natural Health Care Expert for Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @sarafnovak.